Exercise for Pain Relief
Jean in Hagley Park
When you bring your pain to my clinic we discuss how pain affects your movement. Pain can over time change the way you stand, walk, sit-down, get up or how you have to adjust getting in our out of your car due to feeling pain when you move, especially when you bend or reach for something.
Therefore although exercise is 'good' for those in pain, as increased blood flow, especially to muscles and joints is good for your body - the first goal is to be able to move relatively pain-free.
Sometimes when you see how your body holds itself and moves the idea of permanent ongoing pain is no surprise. That is why you’ll have posture photos and movement videos done when you first come to the clinic.
As in many of the pain treatment and pain therapies you are rarely shown how you hold your body and how you move, which can be really impacted by pain. Compensations, favouring and recruiting of the wrong muscles can easily become a habit when we are in pain.
Story of Angela,
Angela had lived and worked as a nurse for many years with chronic pain, but decided (or was told) that exercise was the way to get pain-free (the hope and wish of everyone in chronic pain) so she was going to the gym four or five times a week, just pushing through the pain.
When she saw her photos and how her body moved, she really started to listen and engage with our discussion about why she had chronic pain - it wasn't just physical but other aspects such as life experiences, emotional issues and social interactions all contribute to a complete mind and body experience.
We discussed my pain philosophy, so within a short time she made changes.
No more pushing through the pain,
She decided she would begin to look after herself not just everyone else, husband, children, grandchildren, everyone else except herself."
Her goal was to travel around Australia in a caravan, but sitting for any length of time was just too painful, even for someone who had worked as a nurse and brought up a family with pain being part of her life, after seeing her movement, the imbalance of her muscles and body she knew she had to make changes.
When you as a pain client comes to my clinic, you’ll have posture photos and movement videos that are so informative to you as much as me.
When you see how your body holds itself and moves the idea of permanent ongoing pain is no surprise and can help motivate you to take control over your persistent pain.
My own recovery from major surgery – beginning to exercise
Some months after my major abdominal surgery I was going for gentle walks around the neighbouring streets, but I felt more movement was needed. One Sunday my hubby and I got out the bikes (well he got out the bikes) wheeled them down the road. Now you’ve heard the saying you’ll never forget how to ride a bicycle – well I had. Imagine a 50 something woman on a bicycle with 50 something hubby holding onto the saddle, just like you’ve done for your child or grandchild?
We laughed so much it hurt my only partially healed body!
With practice I was able to go solo on my bicycle. I think what I’d lost was not only balance with macerated muscles, but some brain connection had also been lost, impairing my movement.
Next step was Zumba classes, being at the back, doing movements that my body could do and the Latin music was so cheerful. Over a couple of months, the combination of music and movement allow me to literally ‘bounce’ back. (bounce was the ability to be on my toes and bounce to the next movement)
The above article represents the opinion of myself, a Natural Pain Specialist, although a trained yoga teacher, the ideas and information on this page may be useful BUT please talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.