Exercise For Pain Management
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Exercise For Pain Management

When a person is experiencing anything from mild to severe pain, often the last thing that person wants to do is exercise. The temptation is to sit and remain inactive because movement is too uncomfortable. Sometimes all you may want to do is lie in bed all day because the pain is too much. As tempting as this is, in many cases cutting back most or all physical activity can make the pain worse.

There are times when bed rest is necessary, but more studies have found that those who exercise and work on improving and maintaining some flexibility are able to manage their pain better than those who are inactive. That’s why doctors don’t prescribe bed rest for chronic pain conditions as a way for pain management as much as they used to.

The problem with chronic pain is that the patient’s pain threshold drops. This means that it takes less pain to make a person uncomfortable. Cardiovascular, flexibility and strengthening exercise can improve that pain threshold which can reduce the pain a person feels. Exercise is one of the best non medicinal methods of pain management available.

While exercise is good even for those with chronic pain conditions, the exercise should be done and selected carefully under the guidance of professionals. Many pain clinics offer multidisciplinary options to pain management that includes specialized exercise classes for people with certain types of chronic pain conditions. Back pain, shoulder problems and hip and knee problems can be made worse with the wrong type of exercise program so it’s important to make the selection carefully. Even if you don’t go to a pain clinic, simply letting your physician know you want to exercise and getting the go ahead from your doctor is good enough. Then visit with a professional physical therapist or athletic trainer who can show you exercises you can safely do with whatever chronic pain condition you may have. Not all exercises are appropriate for all people and a professional will be able to let you know what will work best for you.

A good athletic trainer will do what’s called a postural assessment. This is an analysis of how you site, stand and walk which will show any postural imbalances you may have. These imbalances can trigger the pain in the hips, knees, back and shoulders.

There are some simple exercises that most people can complete as a way of pain management. Once again, be sure to get the go ahead from your doctor before starting any exercises. The following stretches are good and can help with the pain management of discomfort in the back and other joints.

All you need is a carpeted floor or a mat. It’s not recommended that you do these stretches on a hard surface like a wood or linoleum floor.

1. Lie on your back on a soft surface on the floor. Rest your legs on an ottoman, chair or couch with the piece of furniture completely supporting your legs from your heels to the back of your knees. This completely removes all pressure from the spine.

2. The Happy Baby pose from Yoga is very effective for loosening up your spine. You may look silly doing it, but the pain management benefits are worth it. The position involves lying on your back and holding your knees to your chest. For a deeper stretch you can grab the soles of your feet and pull your legs to your chest.


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