Oh no. It’s that time of year again when New Year’s resolutions rear their ugly head, forcing you to do something you really don’t want to. Exercise.

For most, beginning a new exercise regimen can be a daunting task. We all know how important exercise is to maintaining good health, but sometimes even the thought of it can keep us on the couch another hour as we watch just one more episode of our favorite show. The first step in exercising is to make a commitment to it. And for those who suffer daily from chronic pain, that commitment may look a little different. With that in mind, let’s look at not only why you should exercise, but some tips on how to do it correctly.

Why Exercise?

Significant research has demonstrated that exercise is an essential aspect in the treatment of chronic pain. Multiple studies have shown that exercise can be an effective way to reverse the downward cycle of deconditioning and worsening pain. Exercise over time can help those with chronic pain participate more often in activities of enjoyment and other essential activities of daily living with greater ease.

How to Exercise

Do short bursts of exercise, not long periods. Start slowly when beginning an exercise program and avoid pushing into the area of when you begin to feel stronger pain. Whichever exercise you’re performing, it’s best to modify it at a certain point before a flare up begins.

Stretching, Strengthening, and Cardio

Stretch at least once a day. It helps to increase your flexibility, loosens tight/stiff muscles, and improves your range of motion. To help strengthen your muscles, perform squats, wall push- ups or bicep curls with weights that you can handle. Whether these weights are 1lb or 5lb, the movements alone can do your body good. Cardiovascular exercises are also extremely important. Walking, swimming or bike riding provide light aerobic exercise which provides a host of healing benefits. If you’re able to work out in a gym, try an elliptical trainer. (It’s a lower impact trainer than a treadmill.) Swimming in warm water is another excellent exercise that can relax your muscles. In fact, the weightlessness helps with movement and minimizes the load on your joints.

When Is It Best to Exercise?

If you have chronic pain, you may be best to exercise in the mid-morning or early afternoon – or otherwise when any pain medication is in its peak effectiveness. Avoid exercising when your muscles may be tense, or when the threat of fatigue is at its worst. Also, when you wake in the morning, you could lack flexibility. Flexibility helps your joints move in their full range of motion. If there’s no flexibility in the morning, your exercise routine may not be as efficient as you would like.

Contact Michigan Pain Consultants Today

Talk with the professionals at Michigan Pain Consultants today about starting your brand-new New Year’s resolutions to combat your everyday pain. We can help you with various exercise, dietary, and other wellness programs to fit your lifestyle.

Make an appointment for a new patient consultation with one of our board certified pain physicians. All of Michigan Pain Consultant’s physicians are Board Certified in Anesthesiology or Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and have advanced training and experience in Pain Medicine. You can begin first by visiting online at MyLifeBeyondPain.com, MichiganPain.com, or by calling them at (800)281-3237.

With six locations throughout West Michigan, Michigan Pain Consultants comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to pain care offers patients and providers renewed hope for relief from chronic pain. Chronic pain should be treated like other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or congestive heart failure. Chronic pain requires chronic treatment. The goal of the treatment is to optimize the management of the pain, as opposed to curing the pain.