Living with the Pain of Chronic Pain
Are you suffering with chronic pain? You’re not alone. In fact, one in five Australians are affected by chronic pain every single day.
It’s invisible but it’s certainly not inexistent, and it may be starting to disturb many aspects of your life. The good news is there are steps you can take to help. Did you know movement and exercise is essential in helping manage and treat chronic pain?
So what is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is essentially any pain that lasts a long time. It can strike anyone, from children to seniors, and it comes in many different forms. Some people are affected by chronic pain all their lives, while others don’t have it quite as severe.
How can exercise help?
You may think moving will make the pain worse, but the truth is movement does really help treat your chronic pain and relieve your symptoms. Gentle exercise supports the health of your synovial joints, which is important as the synovial fluid around your joints enable you to move easily. Exercise can decrease the chance of flare-ups, maintain the strength in your muscles and also reduce fatigue.
Exercise has also shown many mental health benefits too, such as improving your mood, reducing anxiety and depression. Exercise is a natural pain reliever, providing our bodies with endorphins that have a lasting effect of up to one hour, depending on the exercise.
There is no specific exercise that shows optimal results for chronic pain, as chronic pain is so diverse and presents itself in many different forms. However, research has found chronic pain is best treated by exercise when prescribed by an allied health professional, such as an accreditation exercise physiologist (so please don’t go out for a 10k run with a bad back without a specialists consent). Training programs should be individualised by a professional who can share their knowledge about your condition with you. They will then tailor an appropriate, specialised, plan determined by your assessment.
If you or someone close to you is tolerating the inconvenience of chronic pain, then talk to one of our health professionals and organise a time to come in for an assessment…because you can take back control of your life!