Exercise & Chronic Pain
4 reasons why exercise helps relieve chronic pain:
Exercise is probably going to be part of your treatment plan for your chronic back pain. More often than not, resorting to bedrest can make the symptoms of back pain worse.
There are many benefits to exercise, including:
1. Exercise keeps your joints moving.
That’s especially important for patients with chronic pain caused by a form of spinal arthritis.
2. Your muscles will stay strong.
Your spine needs all the help it can get in cushioning your movements and supporting your weight, so you should work on keeping your back and core muscles in good condition. Strong muscles support your body and bones better, and that’s especially important for patients with chronic back pain.
3. Exercise will improve your mental health.
Chronic pain patients can struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Staying active can help boost self-esteem and make you feel like you’re doing something to fight your pain.
4. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Extra weight can add to your pain, particularly if you have chronic back pain. By making healthy diet choices and staying physically fit, you can maintain an ideal weight.
What Kind of Exercise Should You Do?
Speak with your doctor or a physical therapist about what type of exercise would be good for you. A physical therapist can help you develop a regular exercise plan that you can stick with.
6 Treatment Options for Managing Chronic Pain.
Fortunately there are many treatment options for pain management that does not required the use of pain medications. Below is a list of common options that you will find Apex Pain Specialists recommending for their patients.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger point injection is a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscle that contain trigger points, or knots of muscle that form when muscles do not relax. During this procedure, a health care professional, using a small needle, injects a local anesthetic that sometimes includes a steroid into a trigger point (sterile salt water is sometimes injected). With the injection, the trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated. Usually, a brief course of treatment will result in sustained relief.
Trigger point injection is used to treat muscle pain in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck. In addition, this approach has been used to treat fibromyalgia, tension headaches, and myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain involving tissue that surrounds muscle) that does not respond to other treatment.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Therapy, (TENS)
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, more commonly referred to as TENS, uses electrical stimulation to diminish pain. During the procedure, low-voltage electrical current is delivered through electrodes that are placed on the skin near the source of pain. The electricity from the electrodes stimulates the nerves in an affected area and sends signals to the brain that “scramble” normal pain signals. TENS is not painful and may be effective therapy to mask pain such as diabetic neuropathy. However, TENS for chronic low back pain is not effective and cannot be recommended, says the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).
Physical therapy helps to relieve pain by using special techniques that improve movement and function impaired by an injury or disability. Along with employing stretching, strengthening, and pain-relieving techniques, a physical therapist may use, among other things, TENS to aid treatment.
Although resting for short periods can alleviate pain, too much rest may actually increase pain and put you at greater risk of injury when you again attempt movement. Research has shown that regular exercise can diminish pain in the long term by improving muscle tone, strength, and flexibility. Exercise may also cause a release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Some exercises are easier for certain chronic pain sufferers to perform than others; try swimming, biking, walking, rowing, and yoga.
In the past decade, many people have found relief for their pain in mind-body therapies, acupuncture, and some nutritional supplements. Others use massage, chiropractic and osteopathic (bone) manipulation therapies, therapeutic touch, certain herbal therapies, and dietary approaches to alleviate pain. However, there is little if any scientific evidence supporting these therapies for pain relief.
Chiropractic Treatment and Massage
Chiropractic treatment is the most common nonsurgical treatment for back pain. Improvements of people undergoing chiropractic manipulations were noted in some trials. However, the treatment’s effectiveness in treating chronic back and neck pain has not been supported by compelling evidence from the majority of clinical trials. Further studies are currently assessing the effectiveness of chiropractic care for pain management.
When you’re looking for the best pain doctor, Chandler is home to two of Arizona’s premier pain specialists – Dr. Maziar Massrour and Dr. Naveen Reddy. These two highly sought after Arizona pain specialists are double-board-certified and have been recognized as Phoenix Magazine’s Top Pain Management Doctors.