3 Exercises to Encourage Healthy Pain Relief

Pain during walking

If you have a troublesome back or painful joints, you may be tempted to simply call in sick every time the pain turns up, and spend the day consoling yourself in bed. Doing this might seem to be the only choice when you are in the middle of a pain episode; as recently as a decade ago doctors used to recommend complete rest, too.

Recent advancements in the study of pain, though, have uncovered that staying in bed is exactly the wrong thing to do when you feel pain. When you lie motionless, your joints begin to lose their ability to move. They become stiffer and lose their tolerance for pain.

The treatment of a painful condition isn’t simply about making the pain go away. For complex health conditions like back pain, taking the source of the pain away simply isn’t possible. Instead, it’s important to train the body to not mind the pain as much. Raising the body’s threshold for pain is only possible with considerable exercise, flexibility and strength training. When you lie down and coddle your pain, you only manage to lower your threshold for pain and worsen your problem.

How to get started on an exercise routine to help manage your pain better

If you have a long-standing painful condition, you shouldn’t simply jump into some kind of exercise routine on your own. Taking up an exercise routine that seems to work for another person with a similar painful condition may not work for you, either. It could end up aggravating the painful joint and injuring it. Instead, you should consult a doctor or a physical therapist at a clinic who can study your case and put together a personalized exercise routine for you.

What a doctor or physical therapist can do for you

One of the most important contributions that a physical therapist can make is to a painful condition is to put you through a postural assessment. In a postural assessment, the therapist studies your posture – the way you stand, walk, sit and work – and tries to make corrections.

A postural assessment isn’t simply about correcting a bad posture. It’s about correcting postural imbalances. We all pick up certain habits over time – putting more pressure on one foot than the other, always carrying heavy objects with one hand instead of the other, and so on. In some people, such lopsidedness can cause pain. A postural assessment and the right exercises to correct any problems discovered can improve a painful condition.

Regardless of the exact kind of pain you have, these 3 simple stretches always work

  1. For your first stretch, find an exercise mat and roll it out right next to a chair or sofa. You need to lie down on your back on the mat and place your lower legs on the chair or sofa. The idea is to get into the kind of position that you would be in if you sat in a chair, but to do it in a way that completely takes the pressure off your spine. Lying down in this position for some time can help alleviate back pain.
  2. Get a stability ball and lie facedown on it, letting your body snugly fit around the curve of the ball. This, too, takes pressure off the spine.
  3. Lie down on your back and pull your knees up to hug them to your chest. This posture is a great way to relax you spine.

These simple stretches can offer a certain amount of pain relief. To go beyond these, you need to seek a physical trainer.

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