Exercise and Chronic Pain


Though people may believe that exercise will worsen their physical status, exercise is in fact a common treatment for chronic pain. Depending on a person's health condition, exercise may provide relief from inflammation, help with mobility, and mitigate pain levels. Additionally, exercise will make muscles strong, improve mental health, and help an individual to stay fit and to avoid obesity.

Conditions like arthritis and fybromalgia may make it difficult to exercise. Working out will keep an individual active and moving. When facing arthritis, exercise may be a crucial component of treatment as exercise can strengthen muscles in proximity to joints, help keep up bone strength, increase overall energy levels, improve quality of sleep, control weight, and improve balance. In cases involving spinal arthritis, exercise will help keep joints moving well. All these benefits may help improve quality of life. Exercise is also the initial recommendation for treatment for fibromyalgia. It has been found that simple activities such as walking may greatly improve quality of life. Pool exercises, stretching, and strength training may also aid in treating fibromyalgia.

The frequency and type of exercise done by an individual depends on their fitness level, pain, and preference. Consulting a doctor or physical therapist may be beneficial. According to Mayo Clinic, achieving three 30 minute workouts per week should be a minimum. Useful exercises for arthritic pain and fybromyalgia include range-of-motion exercises, muscle strengthening exercises, and aerobic exercise. Doing low impact exercises and taking it slow will help protect the joints. Other precautionary measures include pacing oneself and reducing duration of exercise if the exercise causes more than two hours of increased pain.

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