Physical activity has shown promise for easing symptoms for chronic pain sufferers. Find out which exercises could work for you in our blog.
Chronic pain syndrome is a condition that currently affects around 1 in 10 people, consisting of pain that has persisted for a period of 6 months or over. For some, chronic pain has been diagnosed as a result of an accident or injury, while others have a seemingly unexplainable diagnosis and experience pain for no apparent reason. For all sufferers however, there are certain things that can be incorporated into everyday life in order to ease symptoms, such as regular exercise. In fact, a recent study has revealed that exercise has the ability to help patients cope better with chronic pain. In this blog post, we provide suitable exercise ideas, so you can give them a try to ease your pain and discomfort.
According to the study, titled “Physical Activity Behaviour Predicts Endogenous Pain Modulation In Older Adults”, taking part in physical activity lowers a person’s pain perception and has the ability to help older adults cope better with painful stimuli. The study concluded that those who had a more active lifestyle had significantly better pain inhibition and, as a result, felt an improvement in symptoms.
If you suffer with chronic pain syndrome however, it can be extremely difficult to feel energetic and have a get-up-and-go attitude; which is why we would recommend choosing a form of exercise that’s good for you and enjoyable. Which light exercises are recommended and what are the benefits of each? Find out here!
Walking – It’s an extremely beneficial form of light aerobic exercise, complete with its own set of healing benefits. While walking, not only will your muscles receive oxygen and nutrition, you will also feel a boost in energy and experience a reduction in stiffness and/or pain. As a chronic pain syndrome sufferer, you should avoid long distances. Instead, pace yourself and split longer workouts into shorter bursts, in order to prevent strain.
Yoga – This form of exercise is relaxing and helps to improve your flexibility, muscle strength, metabolism and energy. In fact, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Pain Research, yoga is great for reducing symptoms of chronic pain, both physical and psychological. The results of the study showed that participants felt less helpless and more accepting of their condition after taking part in yoga. Certain positions may feel uncomfortable for you depending on where you experience the most pain, so feel free to change the poses you’re struggling with. After all, there are no set rules. Alternatively, you could find an instructor who understands your condition well, as they may be able to recommend certain poses to ease your pain.
Stretching – Similarly to yoga, stretching has the ability to loosen tight muscles and relieve creaky joints, improving your level of movement. If you are thinking of trialling stretching as a means to reduce your chronic pain, make sure that you don’t overdo it and remember to never stretch to the point of pain or hold stretches still for over a minute.
Tai Chi – This particular exercise is a form of martial art rooted in Chinese culture and philosophy. When practicing tai chi, participants will take part in meditation and strong breath control, performing gentle motions to direct the flow of energy throughout the body. Chronic pain sufferers should take part in Tai Chi to improve quality of life, sleep, pain levels, psychological state, functional mobility and anxiety levels. A healthy mind makes for a healthy body.
Swimming – It’s another form of aerobic exercise that has shown promise for helping chronic pain sufferers. Swimming is rhythmic, low impact and ideal for improving endurance levels and flexibility. As an exercise, swimming uses each of the major muscle groups and is simple enough for people of all fitness levels to take part in.
All in all, exercise definitely has its benefits for relieving symptoms of chronic pain syndrome. Although we are experts in handling chronic pain compensation claims, it’s important to remember that we are not medical professionals. Therefore, before you make a start on your own exercise regime, it is recommended that you sit down with your GP or medical advisor first. Alternatively, if you’d like to seek advice from fellow sufferers, feel free to join our community on Facebook or Twitter.