Pain and Exercise

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Pain has become all pervasive throughout our society. It is a major driving force behind the pharmaceutical industry and the health care industry. It is the number 1 reason why people go to see medical doctors.

In the past, pain was not considered a major symptom. Many times medical doctors would conclude that a medical procedure was successful, even if the patient was still in pain after the surgery. As long as the structural issue was corrected, the pain was secondary.

I heard a medical doctor tell their patient that the surgery was success, the surgical site healed properly, and the structural issue was corrected. They tell the patient not to worry that the pain is still there, it might go away, it might not. But the pain is not the concern of the surgeon.

Pain is a major driving force in our society. There are 116 million Americans who are in chronic pain on a daily basis. That is a huge amount of the population. Just because someone looks fine, doesn’t mean that they are pain free.

Pain is now considered a vital sign. Along with heart rate and blood pressure, pain level is now recorded when someone goes in to see a doctor or go to the emergency room.

Many people suffer from pain that cannot be seen. Many people are in pain and don’t look sick or injured. Most pain processes slowly build up over time, so it can be hard to even recognize when the pain first started.

Many people look at pain and stiffness as a sign that they are getting older. Pain is not normal. Pain is not something that you “just have to live with”.

Most pain slowly builds up over time and slowly accumulates and becomes worse over years. Pain usually occurs in overused areas and in areas of previous injury.

Many times if you can control the pain, you can prevent the issue from getting worse. Pain is your body’s self protective mechanism. Listen to your body, and it won’t steer you wrong.

Most musculoskeletal issues slowly build up over time. If you are in touch with your body, then you will feel it building up. You will be able to feel the irritation building, you will feel that achiness that comes and goes. You will feel the reduced range of motion that tight and irritated muscles can cause.

Joint issues are progressive. If you can catch the problem while it is building up, you can prevent it from getting bad. You can prevent it from becoming a surgical issue. Control the pain level, and you will prevent the issue from progressing and getting worse over the years.

The old adage of “no pain, no gain” is very wrong. If you are experiencing pain while, or after, exercising, you are injuring yourself. When you exercise you tear muscles on a microscopic level. The muscle cells then repair themselves bigger and stronger than before. That is how you get stronger.

But go to hard, too intense, with heavy weights at a high intensity, and you will tear many muscle fibers. As you age you don’t recover from injury as quickly as you did when you were younger. You also have more wear and tear on your body than you did when you were younger.

This means that you will enter into a workout with more irritation in your body than when you were younger. Thus making you more susceptible to injuring yourself while exercising. And it will take longer to recover from that injury the older you get.

That is why it is so important to avoid injury as you age. Even when you do recover from an injury, your body is never the same again. You will be structurally less stable in that area of injury, and more likely to re-injure that same area, again and again, if you don’t manage the area and be cautious with it.

If you can prevent/ avoid pain, you will be able to slow down the progression of arthritis, if not prevent it. Osteo-arthritis forms in joints that have suffered some type of trauma. This trauma could have happened when you were a child. These injuries affect and change the body over time. Making you more likely to reinjure that area, and eventually end up with osteo=arthritis in those areas.

The stronger and looser you can keep a joint, the more stable it is going to be. You do this through exercise. But you have to do the right kinds of exercising.

Right now those really intense exercise systems such as P90x and crossfit are really popular. But they are very hard on your body and cause/ create injuries. Any area of previous injury will be more easily injured. High intensity and high impact exercising is appropriate for you when you are in your 20s and recover very quickly. But the older you get, the less appropriate they become.

Sure, many people could do those extreme exercise systems for a bit. But studies show that 75% of participants will injure themselves to the point of having to take time off from exercise and/ or work. And once you injure yourself, you will never be the same again. You will recover slower the older you get, and that area will be more likely to get re-injured.

That’s why it is so important to go easy on your body when you exercise. You want to exercise to feel better, not to feel pain. Go easy on yourself, life is not going to.

That is why I recommend low impact and low intensity exercising. You will be able to stick with this type of exercising for years to come without injury. These exercises will strengthen your body and stabilize your joints, without causing injury.

I designed the Pain Free Lifestyle program to be easy on your body, low intensity and low impact. Studies show that these exercises are easier on your joints, and easier to stick with long term. I chose exercises that are safe and will strengthen up the most over used areas of our bodies. These are the areas that most commonly get injured.

I also included easy on the body stretches that keep the muscles loose and maintain range of motion, as you safely strengthen up the muscles.

Pain Free Lifestyle leads you step by step to getting into shape. It starts out at the beginning, which is where anyone, no matter how out of shape you are, can start. It slowly leads you into more complex exercises. It is easy on the body and will preserve your body and your joints, rather than causing them to break down.

Listen to your body, it won’t steer you wrong. Stretching, along with low impact and low intensity exercising will help you to avoid pain as you age. It will preserve your body and give you the best chance possible of being able to age gracefully while still being able to do the activities that you love to do.

Exercise smarter, not harder. This is the Pain Free way.



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