Living with Chronic Pain
Potential Consequences of Doing too Much or Doing too Little When Living With Chronic Pain
Expending too much or too little energy when living with a chronic pain condition can lead to increased pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. It’s important to balance how much energy is used for both physical and mental activities.
Doing too much
Expending too much energy when living with a chronic pain condition can lead to increased pain for hours or even days. This requires a recovery period, which typically involves little to no activity. Once the individual recovers, they often overdo activity again. Repeating this cycle can lead to increased pain, disability, and future avoidance of activity.
Doing too little
Little or no activity can also have negative consequences. Doing too little activity can stiffen and weaken the muscles, leading to decreased strength, reduced mobility, and increased pain. The resulting pain makes it less likely for an individual to participate in future activity. Inactivity can also affect mental well-being, including contributing to feelings of depression and anxiety.
Finding the appropriate balance of activity can help reduce overall pain levels, improve mobility, and support mental well-being. Strategies such as activity pacing and activity scheduling can help.