When you exercise your body releases endorphins. These are chemicals that your body automatically releases when you exercise or when you’re in pain. The higher the level of endorphins the better your mood becomes. In fact, they also help to decrease stress and can relieve pain.
That leads to the obvious question of whether exercise can help treat chronic pain.
Understanding Chronic Pain
Chronic pain covers any pain in your body that continues for more than 12 weeks, even if you have been given medication or another form of treatment.
Because everything seems to be ineffective, chronic pain can stop people from exercising and moving in certain ways. People will generally avoid any movement that causes the pain to feel worse.
Alongside this, chronic pain can take a toll on sufferers mentally. It can be hard to see a future without pain. This limits options and can often lead to feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, despair, and ultimately depression.
That’s why it’s important to constantly be looking for solutions.
If not, you enter a cycle. Chronic pain encourages you to rest more. This reduces your physical activity which lowers the strength of your muscles.
As muscle strength reduces your body is less able to support itself and avoid the pain, the pain gets worse and the cycle continues. In short, it’s quickly deliberating and life-changing.
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The Right Time
Before you dive into any sort of exercise it is important to understand your pain and what is causing it. That means seeing a physiotherapist, and following their guidelines regarding exercises to improve movement and reduce recovery time. Alongside this, many people find remedial massage therapy helps to reduce and control chronic pain.
Once you have successfully completed these you’ll be ready to start exercising. It’s unlikely to be the sport you were doing before the chronic pain.
But, any exercise will release additional endorphins, helping you to combat the pain and feel more positive about life. In addition, it will start to strengthen weakened muscles, helping your body recover properly and potentially eliminating the cause of chronic pain. One such great exercise which will not only be excellent for burning calories but have some fun while doing it are pilates. They target your joints and reduce the stiffness which is causing the pain.
Exercising regularly means you’ll have better weight control, more self-esteem, and higher confidence. This helps you to develop a positive mental attitude which can help you to do more, despite the pain.
The human body is very good at healing if you give it a chance. The more exercise you do the better your body will be at adapting and controlling the pain. In short, exercise can help you to control and reduce pain.
It should be noted that exercise alone is probably not going to eliminate the pain. But, if it helps you cope, makes your body healthier overall, and gives you your life back, it’s worth trying.
The key to exercising to beat chronic pain is to take it one step at a time. You’ll want to choose an exercise you can do with minimal or no pain and one that you’ll enjoy. This will make it easy to repeat it and start creating a habit.