Shocking statistics from the CDC recently revealed that around 50 million Americans now live with chronic pain. 20 million of those would go as far as to say that they experience ‘high-impact pain’ which has a significant effect on their ability to tackle daily tasks.

If you’re facing chronic pain right now, then, you aren’t alone. The trouble is that chronic pain can have a load of different causes. From pre-existing injuries to underlying diseases; professionals are quickly discovering that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment plan for this wide-spread issue. And, that can make pain management difficult to come by. 

That said, there is one thing that seems to help in every case of chronic pain, and that’s exercise. While age-old advice recommended bed rest and limited movement, doctors are starting to see that this is the worst option. Instead, exercise is now a standard prescription as it keeps muscles fluid, and can also release pain-blocking endorphins.

Sadly, this treatment plan doesn’t account for the fact that chronic pain patients often can’t tackle exercise. As much as you know it might help, the idea of going for a run when your pain is bad can be unbearable. That’s why we’re here with some tips to help you manage your chronic pain even when exercise seems out of reach.

Take steps towards treatment first

There’s no denying that exercise is the most effective chronic pain treatment, but that doesn’t mean it should be your first port of call. In reality, many sufferers find that they have to work up to a regular exercise routine with the assistance of alternative treatments.

Most commonly, this involves pain medications like paracetamol and ibuprofen. Other treatment methods such as the brain-focused non-medical treatments offered by this neurofeedback provider have also been proven to help. While painkillers can dull the pain, non-medical therapies can help to alter your brain functions. That, in turn, should see you much better able to face exercise moving forward.

Choose gentle workouts

We know what you’re thinking; is there any such thing as a gentle workout? The answer is a resounding yes. Options like yoga and palates have been growing in popularity recently, and they’re fantastic for when chronic pain kicks off.

That’s because these methods focus on stretching rather than extremes like heavy-lifting. There is also a real focus on listening to your body and only doing what you’re comfortable with. To make these options even more appealing, it’s possible that the emphasis on stretching and body awareness could help your pain far better than a heavy gym session.


Remember that exercise needn’t mean running a marathon

Lastly, it’s vital to remember that exercise needn’t be an extreme thing. Some days, merely making it into work can count as all the movement you need. Don’t set yourself lofty workout goals which you will never be able to reach. Instead, remember that all movement is good movement, and focus on what you can do rather than what you think you should. 

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Andrea Wilson is a 25-year-old writer and artist who enjoys tea, reading and working out. You can find her in front of a book or at the gym.

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