Whether you’ve suffered an injury or have a condition that causes ongoing pain, managing this and trying to carry on with your daily routine can be hard to do. You may not feel like exercising when you’re in pain, but this could actually help ease it a bit and leave you better able to get through the day.
Many studies have found that those who exercise, stay flexible and ensure they are as active as possible tend to manage their pain better than those who don’t. This means that resting up for long periods may not actually be as good for you as you initially thought.
While you do need to check with your doctor whether some light exercise is suitable for your condition, being more active may help to improve your pain threshold, meaning you’ll feel less uncomfortable in the long-run.
Here are some ways that exercise could help you become pain-free or at least manage your pain slightly better:
Improves muscle strength
Working on the strength of your muscles helps to support your bones and body much better, which can help if you suffer from pain in specific areas, such as your back. Improved muscle strength means that you’ll be better able to hold your body in a way that reduces your pain and that the area that hurts is better supported.
On top of this, strong muscles help to support your weight, ensure you can move more easily and improve your posture, all of which can play a part in better pain management as they reduce strain on your body.
Ensures joints move well
Moving regularly through exercise, whether this is swimming, walking or something else also keeps your joints active. This is helpful if you have joint problems like arthritis, even though you might think that exercise would make that worse.
Not exercising your joints can make them feel stiff and more painful than if you move them a lot. This is because your muscles get stiff, as does the tissue surrounding your joints, making movement harder. Not working your muscles means they weaken and so more stress is put on your joints, making your pain worse.
Regularly stretching and enjoying even light exercise can make living with joint pain much easier.
Helps with weight management
Not only is putting on excess weight bad for your health overall, it can also mean that pain is more difficult to manage. More weight means more strain on joints, muscles, bones and your body as a whole.
As well as managing your diet, exercise helps you to better manage your weight, either losing those extra pounds or maintaining your ideal weight. If you are losing weight, you’ll find that exercise is easier the more you lose, while pain – especially in areas like your ankles, knees and back – will be reduced. Even putting on a couple of extra pounds can make a big difference to your pain, so be sure to stick to an exercise regime.
Improves range of motion
The more you move and exercise, the better you’ll be able to move and the less energy it will take. Simple stretches become easier each day you do them as your body gets used to moving more and the same goes for other types of exercise.
As your range of motion improves, you’ll be able to move faster, your endurance will build and your pain threshold will be increased, making everyday tasks much easier to accomplish. While this won’t happen dramatically overnight, the more you exercise, the more improvements you will notice.