Skip to main content

Exercise and Chronic Pain

It has been said that most people CAN exercise. That includes people with chronic pain. I think they key here is to choose types of exercise that you personally enjoy AND are within the scope of your physical limitations.  For instance if you have a problem with your knees maybe you shouldn't be doing exercise that involve impact--so instead of jumping rope or running, you consider walking or swimming...

It's probably a good idea to talk to your health care providers about which exercises are good fits for your own personal situation, especially if you are just starting out.  Prevention Magazine ran an article several years ago about this topic.  They were focusing on exercises best suited for fibromyalgia in their writings, but I think they are a good place for anyone to start.  So, without further ado here are some suggestions:

1) Walking or biking: pretty much anyone can do one of these. But, just like everything else there are exceptions.


2) Yoga: There are many forms of this practice, some gentler than others.  Yoga is good for stretching the muscle-- it's almost like a massage!  Yoga is also a meditative practice--known as "mindfulness" this is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety associated with chronic pain syndromes.





3) Strength training is another possibility.  My best advice here of course--is to consult your health care provider first, work with a personal trainer if necessary, and also to start low...and go slow! Strength training is a good way to improve muscle tone. Stronger muscles make it easier to do many things with a lot less effort.



4) Everyday activities can count as exercise to an extent.  Keeping those bodies going, even if it means you are mopping, sweeping or taking out the trash is meaningful activity.  Being too sedentary can cause stiffness--so if you can't do anything else, just move around as much as possible.



Sources: Prevention.com; wikimedia; freestockphotos





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:


Sources: prweb;NorthJersey.com;YouTube


Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.





Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.




The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…