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Exercising with pain

This post is especially for people who have muscle, joint or nerve pain that has gone on for a long time without improving. Exercising with pain (especially when you’ve been instructed on the ‘right exercises’) can improve how your body moves and feels and get you back to doing the things that you enjoy.

Exercise really does have loads of benefits. It’s great for your general health, it gives you stronger bones and muscles, improves your mood, gives you longer life expectancy, and on top of that - is often the most beneficial treatment for the majority of aches and pains. Once you’ve started exercising it might allow you to go the shops without help, pick up your grandchildren without fear or do the housework without needing a few days to recover.

Exercise increases your capacity to do things that are important to you. [I also read something recently that exercise can make you happier than money! Find more information on that here.]

Most people find that their pain decreases with exercise, especially when doing the right exercise prescribed by a physiotherapist. Physios are well trained to know the right ‘dose’ of exercise and can guide you through an exercise programme that will aim to get you stronger and more mobile as the weeks go by. Exercise is not guaranteed to resolve your pain, as ongoing/long lasting pain can be down to many factors - but all the other benefits are guaranteed.

There are veryyyyy few conditions that require people to avoid exercise and movement. In fact, for the majority of muscle, joint and nerve pain exercise is strongly recommended - a detailed assessment is always done to ensure prescribed exercises are not only safe to do but also therapeutic. Our bodies are designed for movement and although they can become painful, exercise is required to keep us strong and functional.

Now when your pain has gone on for a long time it’s important to know that hurt doesn’t necessarily equal harm. If your pain has gone on for more than a few months there are often changes that go on within your nervous system that means it has become over-protective and your body may be more sensitive - meaning that you can feel an increase in pain despite no damage done. [For more information on persistent pain please feel free to contact me!]

These changes often mean that your body becomes sore with exercise, but remains safe. This is really important to remember because people are often put off when experiencing pain during exercise - which can be a barrier to them improving their situation.

Exposing the body to graded exercise will gradually improve the way your body moves - it's as simple as that. Experiencing some discomfort during exercise is normal and is rarely a sign of harm. Doing supervised exercise with a physio will help build your confidence and technique in movement and I often find people feel reassured once they finish exercising and realise they’re OK. I always ensure that if people are experiencing pain it is of a tolerable level and gradually eases once exercise has finished.

As a physiotherapist I'm able to teach you ways to move that benefit your body. Once you are in the habit of exercising regularly it’s important that your body is regularly challenged to do more so it continues to adapt. Progressive exercise will provoke a positive change in your body - be it increased movement, better strength or reduced pain. Keeping a consistent exercise routine will also help control pain. Regular exercise will help you maintain the ability to move and function physically, rather than being limited by your pain.

There are also so many ways to exercise that may be of benefit to you - and they often don’t have to be too fancy. Finding something you enjoy is always an added bonus.

With Physio At The Door you don’t even have to leave the front door to start your journey to better health and a fitter, more robust body! With everything necessary brought right to your front door - from yoga mats, weights, resistance bands and gym balls, all you’ll need to do is put in the work when it comes to the exercise!

If you’re looking to become more mobile and don’t want your pain to stop you doing some of the activities you love, contact today to find out more about how exercise and Physio At The Door can help you!

(Did I say exercise loads in this blog?)

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