If you have back or joint pain, the most common to do is lie all day with the hopes that it will help ease the pain. But in reality, it might make the problem worse. Doctors use to prescribe bed rest for people with back or joint pain, but recent studies have shown that people who exercise can manage their pain better than those who don’t.
When you do cardiovascular, strengthening, and flexibility exercises, you improve your pain threshold, particularly with chronic pain.
Benefits of exercise in dealing with pain
It keeps your joints moving. This is particularly important for people who have chronic pain, such as arthritis.
It helps to keep your muscles strong. When you have stronger muscles, it supports your bones and body better. This is particularly important for people who have chronic back pain. Your spine needs all the strength of your muscles to cushion your movement and support your weight. Your back and core muscles should be in excellent condition to do that.
It helps maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight can add pain, particularly in your back. By staying physically fit, your muscles and bones are able to support your body better.
It’s good for your mental health. Patients with chronic pain often end up having depression, anxiety or other mental health issues because it’s difficult for them to live a normal life now that they have this condition. Staying active can boost your self-esteem and make you feel like your doing your part to fight this pain. Exercising with friends and relatives is a good way to motivate yourself.
What exercises should you try
The most important exercise to relieve chronic pain involves cardiovascular exercises. Cardiovascular exercises are known to reduce lower back pain and knee pain.
The key to an effective exercise is to figure out what work can produce less pain when you exercise. Start by briskly walking outdoors. If you feel pain while you do that, try an elliptical trainer. If there is still pain, try swimming. Water is great for someone with joint pain as it gives your cardio workout and resistance without stressing your joints.
If you have joint and back pain, strength training exercise is the way to go. It doesn’t matter if you do it on a machine or on free weights because both seem to deliver promising results. Do a combination of machines and free weights using machines first to guide your movement and provide a better form then transition to free weights when your strength and form improve.
What exercises should you avoid
Not all exercises can help alleviate chronic pain. If you have joint problems, you should avoid high impact exercises. If you have chronic back and joint pain, participating in sports such as basketball and gold can put a strain on the back. If you’ve been doing such sports and don’t want to quit, all you have to do is find a physical therapist who can help you perform such sports without putting a lot of stress in your body.