Building up your level of exercise in a way that is gradual will be tremendously beneficial for both your mind and body if you experience chronic pain. It is important that you start exercising in the right way; jumping right in from not engaging in any exercise to doing extreme workouts is going to be detrimental to your body. Slowly, but surely is the way forward here.
Understand the science
The first thing to do is to get informed about how chronic pain works, whether through therapy or self-education. This involves learning that exercise will not hurt your body and that you do not need to be afraid of it. Chronic pain is a defective alarm system, which means that the pain you are feeling is not suggesting damage. Acute pain, on the other hand, is your body’s way of alerting you that something is wrong, and thus it is natural for you to pay attention when you experience it.
When you start engaging in physical activity, having this knowledge offers you the confidence and peace of mind that you are safe and that you do not need to be afraid of the motions that you are performing, even if you are experiencing pain. Learning about this initially gives you a head start.
It is tempting to attempt to make the most of pain-free days, but doing so might lead to a pattern of increased pain that is known as the boom-bust cycle. This indicates that by trying to do too much, you may end up exacerbating your symptoms and producing a flare of your condition. The boom-bust cycle can be avoided by maintaining a steady pace. Beginning with less strenuous activities like walking or swimming and working your way up to more intense workouts over time will help you avoid injury and get the most out of your time in the gym.
As you begin to exercise, you will gain a better understanding of what works best for you and what triggers an episode. You will start to develop a heightened awareness of your physical self. It all comes down to finding that “sweet spot” that allows you to push yourself in a way that is constructive without going overboard with it. If you suffer from chronic pain, your symptoms will nearly always be changing, making it difficult to find a happy medium between the two. It may take some time, and it frequently involves learning via trial and error, so try not to be too harsh on yourself as you go.
Only you can determine whether or not you are able to carry out the activity as you had intended or whether you may need to modify the activity in order to accommodate your symptoms (for example, by shortening the distance you plan to walk). After you’ve looked at your symptoms, you may decide that you need to bring someone with you for support, use BLITZU products to help you, or use some of your management strategies to be able to do the exercise you had planned.