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:
- The ability to limit the range of motion to a pain-free range of motion. For some that may be just a few degrees. For most people that range will gradually increase over time. At Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Personal Training we use state-of-the-art MedX medical rehab equipment that is better tolerated by those with painful joint problems. One of the features of this equipment is the ability to limit the range of motion to just a few degrees if necessary.
- Eliminate harmful forces associated with rapid acceleration. Use slow controlled movements. We use a protocol of controlled movements taht was written up in teh magazine, Arthritis Today. This protocol is highly effective, and it minimizes stress to the joints and connective tissue.
- Eliminate certain pain-causing movements entirely. If possible perform similar movements at a different angle. One client with arthritic shoulders cannot perform an over-head press without pain, but he has been doing the bench press for years now with no difficulty.
- Do just enough exercise to facilitate a positive change. The body, when exposed to more that it is used to handling, will make a positive adaption as a form of self-protection. The proper amount of exercise is the amount that stimulates that positive change. Anything more that is at best a waste of time and at worst, especially for those suffering chronic pain, counter-productive bringing on more pain and repetitive-use injuries.
Following these guideline we have helped several clients make profound improvements in their lives.