While medical treatments and physical therapy are vital components of managing chronic pain symptoms, increased physical activity as a daily habit can increase quality of life. Physical activity results in the release of natural endorphins; these are the “feel good” chemicals in the brain that enhance mood while simultaneously easing pain signals. Regular exercise also helps to improve sleep quality and may even result in a reduced need for pain medications. Here are some exercises to help with pain management.
Taking a walk for a few minutes everyday can actually help your body deal better with pain. Walking 30 minutes 3 to 5 times per week can help increase strength, endurance, and heart health. If walking is challenging for you, start slow and work your way up to longer walks as you get stronger. If you use a walker or a cane, make sure to take it with you.
The benefits of tai chi are generally greatest if you begin before you develop a chronic illness or functional limitations. Tai chi is very safe, and no fancy equipment is needed, so it’s easy to get started. Although tai chi is slow and gentle and doesn’t leave you breathless, it addresses the key components of fitness — muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and, to a lesser degree, aerobic conditioning. Tai Chi can also help with lower and upper body strength if practiced regularly.
Strength training — also known as weight or resistance training — is physical activity designed to improve muscular strength and fitness by exercising a specific muscle or muscle group against external resistance, including free-weights, weight machines, or your own body weight
Weight training and strengthening exercises can help build up your back muscles, keeping your spine moving as it should. Weak back muscles, abdominal muscles or poor posture can make you more susceptible to back strain. Focusing on strengthening your core and you’ll lead to less back pain in the long run.
Yoga is a practice that connects the mind and body, and can help people with chronic pain by improving flexibility, reducing inflammation, and helping them cope with their pain mentally.Yoga has been shown to help with back pain, neck pain and headaches.
Yoga can decrease pain perception, meaning that people feel their pain is less strong and severe than it was before. In one study, a form of mindfulness meditation called yoga nidra helped combat veterans achieve moderately important to statistically significant reductions in pain perception.
Exercising in water has long been known as a vigorous alternative when in injury recovery or simply when routines need a shakeup, and science has repeatedly validated its effectiveness. This will help your body deal with pain better, and not to mention that it is also fun to move in the water!
These are some of the exercises that will help to reduce the pain in your body, as well as improve your overall health. Remember to be consistent and slowly build up your habits. If going to the gym seems overwhelming or an individual’s chronic pain prevents them from exercising, everyday activities and daily chores can help. Routine activities, such as doing laundry, getting the mail, cooking, bathing and dressing are also valuable ways to incorporate movement throughout the day.