Exercise, Disease, and Chronic Pain

Exercise is good for you. Exercise can make you look and feel better over time. It is by far the best way to keep yourself looking and feeling young, and preventing your actual age from catching up with you.

But what if you suffer from a disease process such as multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, or arthritis? What if you suffer from chronic pain? Is it still alright to exercise? Should you work through the pain? Will you be harming yourself more?

These are all valid questions, and frequently asked questions.

I believe that everyone should exercise. Our bodies are not designed to be sedentary. If you are sedentary, and don’t exercise, you will get health issues associated with just being sedentary. These issues will make whatever disease process or other health problems you may have, worse.

There is so much information out there concerning exercise and its’ positive effects on your body. If you are healthy, exercise will make you healthier. If you are in pain, or suffer from a chronic illness, exercise will alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the chronic disease, and can even reduce pain levels.

If you suffer from osteo-arthritis, any movement of the affected joint can be painful. But it is a conundrum, because if you move, you will be in pain. But if you do not move, or exercise, your pain will progress and get worse over time. Arthritis will worsen and progress over time if you don’t do anything to maintain and manage your symptoms and your joints. In general, low impact exercising will be the way to go. This type of exercising will allow you to move while doing the least amount of damage to your already damaged joints.

If you are 60 years old, 250 pounds and haven’t exercised in years, then chances are that you will have some arthritis, and probably some other health issues associated with being sedentary and not exercising. If you are this type of person, exercise will be hard to get into, but it will help you to feel better, and could possibly give you 10 to 20 more years of comfortable living, rather than 5 to 10 years more of living in pain. There are medications out there that can help alleviate some of the pain, and it can helpful to take some of these. While the medications can help, they will not take the place of exercise. Consistent exercise will maintain and improve upon: range of motion, strength, endurance, balance, and activity levels to name a few. Consistent exercise will, at the very least, maintain your body, and pain levels, where they are at now, and prevent them from deteriorating even more.

If you haven’t exercised in years and are deconditioned, out of shape, overweight and suffering from some of the health problems that being sedentary causes, exercising will not get you doing cartwheels. But if you exercise in the right way, almost everything will feel better.

If you have chronic pain and arthritis (they can go hand in hand), exercising will hurt. But, the pain will be temporary, and you will feel better overall afterwards. And it will prevent the arthritis and pain from progressing.

This is one of the few times that I would advise working through the pain. Pain is your bodies’ self protective mechanism. It is important to listen to it. And for the most part, if you have pain while exercising, it is important to listen to it and stop exercising temporarily. But, if you suffer from chronic pain or a disease process, the pain isn’t going to go away. If you wait for the pain to go away before beginning a new exercise routine, you may never exercise. But, if you can push your way through some of the pain to do moderate, low impact exercising, you will feel better overall. The pain from the workout will be temporary. And it is the best way to ensure that your pain and disease will progress as slowly as possible, and affect you as little as possible.

By strengthening up the muscles that surround irritated and painful joints, you will stabilize these joints and get more motion and activity from them, and be able to do more. Stabilizing the joints will prevent the arthritis from progressing.

Stretching out tight and irritated muscles will maintain range of motion and prevent you from losing motion over time. We all have relatives or have seen elderly people who can’t get out of a chair without pain, or can’t turn their necks all the way. This can be prevented by stretching regularly, and strength training. The stretching will prevent the muscles from slowly tightening up over time until they get so tight that you lose range of motion. Strength training will allow you to maintain strength over time so that you won’t feel weak walking up the steps, or getting out of a chair. Between stretching and strengthening, you can prevent joints from feeling like they are about to give out.

I have a theory that all people have repetitive motions. These repetitive motions will cause a daily accumulation of tightness. This tightness, from performing the same motions over and over again, day in and day out, for months and years on end, will slowly cause the muscles to tighten up over time. These tight muscles will pull on joints and cause them to wear differently then how they were designed to. This will eventually cause them to break down and wear out over time. This is what causes osteo-arthritis.

If you can prevent some of that daily accumulation of tightness, you can prevent issues and pain from coming on. You can actually prevent issues. If you already have health issues and joint pain, you can prevent them from getting worse, and can even reverse some of the effects from the wear and tear on joints.

You can prevent this by stretching and strengthening muscles throughout your body. You just have to know the right muscles to stretch and the right muscles to strengthen.

I have observed muscles patterns over many years of practice. I know which muscles to stretch and which muscles to strengthen. I know which muscles generally tend to get irritated and which muscles you need to strengthen up to prevent this irritation.

In the Pain Free  Lifestyle program, I organized which muscles to stretch and which muscles to strengthen. You don’t even have to think about it. I lay it for you step by step.

Reducing pain and chronic irritation naturally through exercise, stretching and proper nutrition is the pain free way.

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