If you suffer from back or joint pain, there are most likely times when you just want to lie in bed all day. While this may be a tempting option, it can often make your problem worse. Those that exercise according to their doctor’s advice and stay flexible are able to manage their pain much better than those who remain sentient. When you are experiencing chronic pain, your pain threshold drops, meaning that it takes much less pain for you to begin to feel uncomfortable. When you frequently perform cardiovascular, strengthening, and flexibility exercises, you can improve your pain threshold.
Where to Start
Don’t begin any sort of exercise regimen without guidance from your doctor. He or she will be able to tell you what type of exercises are appropriate for you given your condition. Generally, starting with some simple stretches is always a good idea to loosen up and get your blood flowing.
Which Exercises Should I Try?
One of the most important types of exercise that can be used to improve chronic back and joint pain is cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular fitness is highly associated with a reduction in low back and knee pain. Keep in mind that you should find a workout that doesn’t produce your pain during the exercise. If you start by walking on the treadmill and are still experiencing pain, you might consider hopping on the elliptical trainer. If you’re still feeling the pain, try aquatic workouts, which can include swimming laps or water aerobics.
Strength training can also ease back and joint pain. Weight machines can help guide your movement, and you can transition to free weights as your strength and form improve. Core strength and flexibility are two other types of physical fitness that can help ease chronic pain. Pilates and yoga are both great to improve these, but they should be learned under appropriate supervision.
Which Exercises Should I Avoid?
People with back and joint pain should avoid performing high-impact exercises. A lot of people like to run, and while it is a great form of conditioning, it puts a lot of wear and tear on all of your joints. Basketball is another sport that results in this wear and tear. Golf and tennis can put a lot of strain on your back. This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid them altogether, but it’s important to find ways to strengthen both sides of your body as these sports often have unilateral movements.