I have discovered there are a number of people out there who need tips on Aerobic Exercise For Chronic Pain. With so many people suffering from things like back pain, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and arthritis chronic pain is something that is dealt with all the time. Even though I was in pain for two years with a herniated disc, I still wanted to exercise. Sadly, I found many activities just too difficult to do. It wasn't until I was about to have surgery that I realized how many things I should have been doing.
Aerobic Exercise For Chronic Pain
Yes, exercise of any kind can hurt even more when you have chronic pain, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't at least attempt something. I know that many said I should walk, but the pain in my hips and leg from where my back was injured hurt even worse when I tried to. Could I swim? Yes, I could have with minimal if any pain, and I am ashamed that I didn't more. I understand how debilitating chronic pain can be, and that is why I want to help others who are going through the same things I did. I don't want you to feel alone or hopeless. I will say, the most important thing for you to do before you venture forth to find out what kind of aerobic exercise for chronic pain is right for you, you need to talk to your doctor. Some pain needs to be dealt with by surgery, therapy and other means. Had I started working out heavily in January of this year, my injury could have gotten even worse
Make an attempt at exercise. It may hurt, but attempting is better than doing nothing. When you have a good day, or a day with minimal pain take advantage of that to get some exercise in. Think about ways you can get your heart rate up. With chronic pain, movement can help ease the pain in some ways, and other times it is simply a means to lose weight which also helps with the pain.
- Stretch well: Depending on what is causing your pain, you may already be doing stretches. Before you do any exercise you need to stretch a bit to make sure you don't pull any muscles.
- Try swimming: Swimming is an excellent low impact workout. Even if you can't swim, you may be able to walk in laps around the swimming pool. Not only is your body working hard, it isn't being stressed as much. The water helps your body move easier with less pain. This is actually the only real exercise I currently get. It is low impact, easy on my back and hips, but is making a huge difference in my health.
- Walk slowly at no incline: Incline and speed are often what hurt when you are walking. The first year I had pain from sciatica (later discovered was a herniated disk), I was able to walk at no incline and a slow pace for a considerable amount of time with minimal to no pain. As my injury worsened, I wasn't able to do this any longer. Walking is a great way to work out your body with what is aerobic exercise, but minimal impact.
- Do step exercises. Step exercises were highly popular in the 1990's and are a great way to work out today. Whether you use steps in your own home, or you have the old school step platform, you can easily step up and down to get your heart rate going. Even slow movement is movement to help your heart rate get up and burn calories as well as move your joints and muscles so they don't get too sedentary.
Don't push through pain. There is a level of pain that is discomfort, and there is a level of pain that brings tears. It is okay to be a little uncomfortable, but don't push yourself through pain that is bringing you to tears, making you feel nauseated or making it harder to move. Yes, you need exercise and should challenge yourself, but understand that severe or worsening pain isn't okay.
There are many injuries, like IT Band or kneecap pain that really need attention from a professional to prevent further injury. This, along with many back or neck injuries can become a huge issue if not cared for properly.
Seek a personal trainer. If you have tried what you feel is everything and you just don't know what to do, it's time to ask the pro. A personal trainer or even a physical therapist can help you to understand different ways to get your body moving without injuring your body worse.
Getting the right kind of aerobic exercise for chronic pain does take trial and error. If your body is still unable to do something because of pain, it is time to talk to your doctor about potential help with physical therapy, surgery or different medications. I never want to depend upon medication to get me through the day, and I am sure you don't either. However, you have to sometimes take the advice of the medical professionals to make yourself more comfortable and able to exercise and help your body to heal and move better and easier.
Check out some of our other posts about health and exercise!
How To Exercise When You Have Chronic Pain
Being Fat Doesn't Mean I'm Not Trying To Be Healthy
How To Get Fit Playing With Your Kids
You always need to be careful when there is chronic pain since injury may happen, but it is so much better when ou are helping your body by focusing on some exercise on a regular basis. 🙂
Do you have any tips for starting an exercise program after having back surgery? I had a spinal fusion of the L5-S1 2 years ago and I have been very nervous about what I can and cannot do... the pain I experienced with the herniation was horrible and there was 4 years between the injury and surgery. I became so hyperfocused on what I couldn't do that I feel really lost about what I can do. I have not been very active other than with my job (I'm a nurse) and I would like to adopt a healthier lifestyle now that I'm in my 40's...any advice?