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exercise elderlyFight chronic pain with exercise

Do you suffer from chronic pain or know someone who does? Exercise may be the answer you have been looking for. Whilst acute pain is a normal sensation to alert you to possible injury and the need to look after yourself, chronic pain is different.

Chronic pain persists for months, and in some cases even years. There may have been an initial injury or there may be an ongoing cause of pain; arthritis, or cancer. Sometimes chronic pain may develop for no apparent reason.

If you suffer from chronic pain, your main focus should be on managing the pain. To do this you will need to manage the motion and muscle impairments and the functional limitations and disability that result.

Exercise can:

  • Improve inflexibility, loss of mobility, and weakness
  • Improve sleep, and enhance well-being and self-esteem
  • Helps your body release endorphins
  • Control weight gain
  • Prevent secondary musculoskeletal complications of pain such as further weakness, immobility, and flexibility at other joints
  • Prevent secondary cardiovascular changes such as increases in blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, or diabetes complications
  • Boost your energy levels

The best types of exercise are walking, dancing, cycling, swimming and water based aerobics. Yoga, Tai-Chi, and using a “fit ball” allow a variety of large muscle group activities to be carried out while simultaneously assisting your posture.

Remember: Consult your doctor for help in designing an exercise program that meets your needs.

Source: Mayo Clinic May 11, 2006


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