Best Exercises to Reduce Chronic Pain
Today’s lifestyle has caused chronic pain to spread like a plague in the current generation. It is very common amongst people with desk jobs. Due to 7-8 hours of continuous sitting at one place in one position, muscles get strained, especially in the neck and back area. This can further result in chronic pain in joints, shoulders, spine and neck.
Chronic pain doesn't go away easily. Medicines only dull them down for a couple of hours. Hence, regular exercising is the only natural way to reduce chronic pain. They scale down the existing strain and decrease the chances of further stress on body muscles. They are also the best approach to heart care.
Following are some of the basic exercises to reduce chronic pain, which you should incorporate in your daily routine.
Most basic and easiest way amongst all exercises to reduce chronic pain is walking. You can start by going for a short walk of 15 minutes initially. Then, you should gradually extend it up to 30 - 45 minutes. Start with small steps and a slow pace. With time, you can increase the speed.
Walking also reduces the risk of heart diseases and is one of the most effective mediums for heart care and obesity care. It helps in building strength and endurance. Morning walks also give you an energetic and positive start to the day. Don't forget to take a walking cane or stick if you require them for daily steps. Buy a good quality and comfortable pair of jogging shoes to avoid foot injury.
Stretching exercises mainly helps with lower back or neck pain. They reduce muscle stiffness and release tension. There are several stretches for chronic pain that you can do at your home without any equipment.
- Lower Back Stretch: Lie straight with your back on the floor. Pull your knees closer to your chest. Wrap your arms around them like a knee hug. Move from left to right. Hold the position for 1-2 minutes.
- Neck Stretch: Sit straight on the mat or floor. Raise one arm and hold the opposite ear with it. Now slowly bend your head. This will stretch your neck from one side. Hold for a couple of minutes. Then, repeat the whole process with another hand.
Strengthening exercises helps in maintaining a strong skeletal system which is important for people with chronic pain. They also prevent further injuries and damage to the body. Such exercises boost abdominal strength, improve posture, and help develop strong back muscles. They also give a sense of balance to your body. Two popular strengthening exercises to reducing chronic pain are:
- Leg lifting: Lie down on your stomach. Then, lift your body up with the palm and toes. Bend your one knee. Raise the other leg in the air. Now repeat the same steps with another knee. Repeat the exercise for at least 10 times with each side of the leg.
- Dead Bug: Lie straight with the back facing towards the floor. Raise your hands and legs straight in the air. Bend your legs at 90 degrees. Take a deep breath in. Now exhale while pulling your left leg down without touching the floor. Simultaneously, bring your right arm down towards the floor, keeping it above the head. Repeat the above steps with the right leg and left arm. You can do this exercise 10-15 times on each side daily.
Swimming is the perfect exercise for those who cannot go for long walks. It is a leisure sport, and it doesn't cause much strain to muscles and joints. It is the best form of cardiovascular exercise. It helps in regular body movements with a lesser amount of pressure on muscles. Swimming also regulates the blood sugar level and can be used as an effective means of diabetes care.
Swimming is a gentle exercise for chronic back pain and neck pain which can be done regularly. It also helps in strengthening the neck and back muscles. Swimming is considered very effective for the treatment of spondylitis and related issues. Some doctors consider it a great therapy for mental health too.
Deep breathing helps in relaxation of muscles and cartilages. This is of utmost importance for people with chronic pain. This exercise requires no movement of joints or any other physical activity that could put stress on muscles. Hence, deep breathing is one of the best gentle exercises for chronic back pain. It is also perfect for people with joint pain and muscle fracture.
Lie down straight with your face towards the sky or ceiling. Place your hands on your stomach. Let your hands, shoulders and feet loose. Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in via your nose, then breathe out with your mouth. With each exhale, imagine stress and pain exiting your body.
Continue this exercise daily for 5-10 minutes. It is also regarded as a form of meditation because it soothes your body and calms all the nerves. You can also do breathing exercises in a sitting position.
These are some of the simple exercises to reduce chronic pain. They don't require much practise or skill. People of every age group suffering from chronic pain can do them with ease.
Pilates, yoga and weight lifting are also very beneficial for people suffering from chronic pain. However, they require practise and proper training to be done correctly. You can enrol for a weekly or daily class depending upon your schedule. Moreover, you should always consult a doctor online or otherwise before starting any of the above exercises.
Chronic pain can only be treated right if you know its emerging point. Certain exercises should be avoided by people suffering from some particular chronic pain. For example, people with joint pain should not go for walking or jogging exercises, but when it comes to heart care, walking may work wonders. It is best to take advice from a doctor on what exercises should one do for specific conditions.