Chronic Pain and Exercise

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By Dr. Sender Deutsch
Published on November 14, 2012

Chronic pain requires an effective pain management program to reduce stressChronic pain is often misunderstood by many doctors and therapists. The focus tends to be on the lesion or the location of the injury. Rather, it is important to have a holistic approach that incorporates the psychological and neurological components of chronic pain patients. Often these individuals are emotionally stressed, scared and worried about living the rest of their life in pain. Therefore, it is critical as a patient to find a doctor and a therapist who will take the time to fully explain your condition and develop a plan to help manage your pain. Once you have a better understanding and a plan in place, it will help conquer your fears which will in turn help heal your body.

The most important treatment to help alleviate your chronic pain is by reducing stress. Stress causes the following:

  • Reduced healing of tissues
  • Increased fat storage
  • Decreased tissue oxygen
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Lower pain thresholds
  • Weakened immune system

Creating a pain management plan will help reduce stress levels. Try to start meditating on a regular basis by doing deep diaphragmatic breathing. As well, start aerobic exercise immediately as it generally is our most powerful medicine. It has been proven to be one of the most effective treatments for chronic pain. Begin by taking a walk, and work your way up to aqua therapy, cycling and other higher intensity exercises.

Exercise will help to counteract the effects of stress by:

  • Increasing oxygen and blood flow to the tissues
  • Decreasing nerve pain
  • Improving mood
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Releasing neurotransmitters to reset your pain levels
  • Helping with depression

2 thoughts on “Chronic Pain and Exercise

  1. I find an anti-inflammatory diet helps a lot with chronic pain. eliminating the artificial foods, sugar, trans/hydrogenated fats, etc helps to keep inflammation in control so you can focus more on the activities like you listed.
    i would also add, that doing nothing usually makes the pain worse especially with chronic injuries or joint issues. Yoga helps, too with keeping us limber.
    nice article!

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