Chronic Pain

Addressing Chronic Pain with Exercise

Table of Contents

A lot of people experience chronic pain in different areas of their bodies. The most common feature of chronic pain is that the discomfort doesn’t wear off and persists for a long time. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, chronic pain affects over 100 million adults in the United States and costs $560 to $635 billion each year in direct medical treatment expenditures and lost productivity. 

Hence, people who experience it tend to term it a disability. Is chronic pain a disability? Keep reading to find out!

 

Is Chronic Pain a Disability?

Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts for at least six months. Several circumstances can cause this form of pain. Chronic pain is quickly becoming recognized as a complex and burdensome condition that can cause severe handicaps in those who suffer from it. The origin of this syndrome is not commonly known. However, it could be caused by illnesses, procedures, traumas, or car accidents.

The following are some medical conditions that may be linked to pain disorders:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Endometriosis in women
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Back pain

 

Treating Chronic Pain With Exercise

There are many approaches to treating Chronic Pain. Exercise tops the list of natural treatments for Chronic Pain. It may reduce inflammation, promote mobility, and reduce overall pain levels. No further medication is required if you try out the best exercises for chronic pain. Some of these exercises are:

 

Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardiovascular exercise provides several physical and mental advantages, and it can be especially beneficial for persons who suffer from chronic pain. Cardio can be done at any time of day with little or no equipment. Try out these two activities.

 

Walking

Walking 30 minutes three to five times a week will help you build strength, and endurance and improve your heart health. If walking is difficult for you, begin slowly and gradually increase the length of your walks as you gain strength. If you use a cane or walker, bring it along.

 

Swimming and Water Aerobics 

Swimming is a terrific method to cleanse your mind and can be soothing. For persons with mobility challenges, this is a great alternative to walking. This low-impact cardiovascular exercise will help you stay active while reducing stress on your joints and muscles. According to studies, physical activity has been shown to provide numerous health benefits, including improved brain health, weight control, illness load reduction, and stronger bones and muscles. Maintaining a physically active lifestyle, according to the CDC, lowers the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, some types of cancer, and other obesity-related ailments.

 

Relaxation Exercises

Many people who suffer from chronic pain benefit from relaxation techniques. Visualization does not require any special equipment and may be performed anywhere.

 

Visualization and Deep Breathing

  • On the bed or the floor, lie on your back or in another comfortable posture.
  • Relax your shoulders and feet while placing your hands on your belly.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose while closing your eyes. Exhale via your mouth, ensuring that all of the air is released.
  • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, feeling your stomach rise and fall beneath your fingertips with each breath.
  • Follow this rhythm, imagining the agony leaving your body with each breath.
  • Repeat every evening before bedtime or as needed throughout the day.

 

Stretching & Strengthening Exercises

Stretching can help ease tension and stiffness in your low back or neck if you have chronic pain. Try these equipment-free back and neck stretch to increase overall mobility and allow appropriate movement.

 

Low Back and Glute Stretch

  • Lie down on the floor on your back.
  • Wrap your arms around your knees and offer yourself a soft hug as you bring your knees closer to your chest.
  • You should feel a stretch in your hips and low back as you rock side to side.
  • For an extra glute and piriformis stretch, cross one leg over the other.
  • Place yourself next to a door and stand or sit there.
  • Raise the elbow of the side you wish to stretch above the shoulder.
  • Your elbow should be resting against the door jam. The outside of the shoulder blade will twist up due to this.
  • After that, move your head away from that side and lower your gaze.
  • Place your free hand on top of your head and apply mild pressure to deepen the stretch.

 

Levator Scapula and Neck Stretch

Strengthening the joints is vital for preventing future injuries and stabilizing the joints.

Appropriate core strength is especially crucial for persons who suffer from chronic pain. It aids in the maintenance of appropriate posture and balance and the prevention of injuries that could result in further discomfort.

Core strength and stability can be improved by working the belly, hips, and back muscles. Try out the exercises listed below.

 

“Dead Bug”

  • Begin by lying on your back and reaching for the ceiling with your arms extended.
  • Bend your knees to 90 degrees and lift your feet into the air. Relax your ribcage and pull your belly button down to the floor to engage your core.
  • Lower your left leg to the ground without allowing it to touch. Extend your right arm towards the floor. Keep your hands in this posture for 1 second. Exhale. Return to your original starting position.
  • Rep on the opposite side. Perform 10 reps on each side.
  • Begin by crouching on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Make your back as flat as possible. Pull your belly button up towards your spine and draw your shoulder blades down your back to activate your core. Throughout this exercise, avoid arching your back.
  • Extend one leg behind you, straight. Lower your leg and tap your toe on the floor before lifting it. Do not raise the leg above the level of your hips. Rep 10 times, focusing on maintaining your core engaged and only moving your leg during the movement.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Kneeling on a small stability ball or foam roller will boost the intensity of this workout.

 

Leg Lifts on all Fours

  • Begin on your hands and knees, with your right leg stretched long on the mat.
  • Lift your right leg towards the ceiling by squeezing your glute and hamstring.      Lower the weight gradually and repeat for the appropriate number of repetitions. 
  • Keep your abs taut and your back straight during the workout.



Enriching Your Life with Exercise

Exercise can help improve every important aspect of your life, so it’s something that should be taken seriously. Chronic pain is difficult to manage, but with the help of professionals (like the instructors at Fort Fitness), you can optimize your healing and improve your quality of life. To learn more about the fitness programs available in Laguna Hills, CA, call Fort Fitness at 949-544-1557.

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