Imagine living with pain every day. You are getting older and your life has become compromised. The prospect that the pain will always be there presents a bleak picture. It does not have to be that way.
From the movie Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.”
From this article, Endorphins: Natural Pain and Stress Fighters:
“In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.”
A year and half ago I could not reach up and adjust my rear view mirror without shooting pain. I had trouble reaching out to close the car door. Often just laying in bed was painful. Now I do those things without a care in the world. Exercise changed things dramatically.
To avoid chronic pain such as arthritis those afflicted will avoid movements that cause them pain. Eventually that leads to a loss of strength, a decreased range of motion, and more pain – a vicious cycle. Proper exercise will eliminate the pain, increase strength and range of motion, and create a positive cycle.
The right exercise will have the following components:
Exercise can be a great way to ease chronic pain. There are risks associated with inactivity and benefits associated with movement.
When you're in pain, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind, but regular exercise can be a versatile weapon in the fight against chronic pain.
When you're inactive, your muscles — including your heart — lose strength and work less efficiently. Your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes increases. Inactivity can increase fatigue, stress and anxiety as well.
"Years ago, people who were in pain were told to rest," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic,
Rochester, Minn. "But now we know the exact opposite is true. When you rest, you become deconditioned — which may actually contribute to chronic pain."
As tough as it may be to start an exercise program, your body will thank you. Exercise can: