Pain and Exercise

Oct 16, 2020
pain and exercise|pain-and-exercise

Like most of us, you've had to adjust your normal workout routines during the "stay at home" times. That means we're all looking for new ways to stay healthy and fit, but that can sometimes be easier said than done. And while a lot of us may admit to more mental than physical pain, we should still pay attention to what our bodies are telling us. Injuries, improper form, and inefficient movement techniques can all contribute to greater pain during exercise. However, exercise, when done correctly can actually be one of the best things you can do for your pain.

Consider these scenarios.

  • You have a knee replacement surgery. Almost immediately, you are required to do physical therapy with some sort of regularity despite the discomfort.
  • You have injured your rotator cuff by overuse through back-to-back tennis matches. Though you may now require greater rest for healing, you may also need movement and mobility through stretching. Just another form of exercise.
  • You have arthritis in your feet and ankles. The best thing you can do is apply the right amount of proper exercise in order to reduce the pain and inflammation markers in your joints.

The point here is that exercise is key to maintaining a pain-free, healthy body. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you work through your pain via exercise.

Functional movement and biomechanics

There is no way I could review what I think everyone should know before adopting a moderate to intense exercise routine. So, the best tip that I can offer, other than basic knowledge of your body’s biomechanics and anatomy, is to have a basic understanding of how and why the body works the way it does for the whole. This information can deepen your ability to meet your body where it needs to be met when you are faced with injuries, recovering, or simply need to switch up your training style for better results. So ask questions to trained professionals such as a personal trainer, exercise physiologist, or physical therapist, do some research online, grab a few books at your library, or sign up for a 101 course.

Muscle recruitment and activation

I cannot iterate this point enough. If you are recovering from surgery, injury, or another ailment, it is more important to focus on ensuring the appropriate muscles are being recruited and activated during the desired movement. I have seen so many avid exercisers or determined post-surgery clients pick up heavyweight much too early. Take baby steps, and I promise you will get there and actually be stronger than you once were.

Muscular endurance and stability

Again, we're back to the heavyweights. I know it’s tempting, but lifting heavy weight all the time can actually increase inflammation and the likelihood of injury. You’ll get there. Instead, opt for lightweight or bodyweight exercises for max reps or stability exercises such as wall sits or planks.

Balance rest with movement

Though exercise offers numerous benefits to your health and pain, there is a balance of rest and exercise. Unfortunately, there is no pamphlet that can spell out these requirements customized to you and your body’s needs. However, I will say that with the assistance of a trained fitness professional and listening to your body’s needs, you are more likely to discover your balance a little easier.

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