Get a move on. We have all heard this phrase but what does it really mean? For people in chronic pain, sometimes just moving is a battle in itself. There are several things you can do to help with your mobility, we will discuss ways to get you moving throughout this post.
Before we begin, watch this video on how to warm-up correctly.
4 Simple Exercises – The Warm Up
For those with limited mobility due to chronic pain, injury, or other condition, the edict to “get more exercise” can be intimidating.
Some of the reasons for this are:
- Fear of further injury or pain: Chronic pain sufferers may be worried that injury will cause or worsen a flare up. Those recovering from injury may be concerned about re-injuring themselves or making their recovery time longer.
- Confusion about what exercise is: People who don’t regularly exercise may envision running and weightlifting as their only options. If their mobility is limited, this may cause them to believe that nothing less counts as exercise.
- Not knowing where to start: Ignorance of the options available, or not knowing how to operate machines at a gym, can be a sticking point for many people starting an exercise regimen. Likewise, if the exercise will take place at home, the number of exercise props (and their myriad uses) can be overwhelming.
- Fear of appearing foolish: Especially if the person with limited mobility was formerly active, they may feel worried that they will seem weak or foolish, or that people will judge their low-intensity workout.
We are going to address each one of these fears separately and offer suggestions and links to videos and further information.
Fear of further injury or pain
This can be a very legitimate fear. Those suffering from chronic pain sometimes have difficulty simply getting out of bed after a long night of tossing and turning. Anyone recovering from an injury is likely to have some tenderness or sensitivity as they begin to move the affected area. While this fear of pain or further injury is understandable, there is a growing body of research that shows that exercise actually improves chronic pain.
Exercise increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is the “feel-good” neurotransmitter in our brain, the same neurotransmitter that regulates mood. People who suffer from fibromyalgia generally have lower levels of serotonin. The good news is that regular exercise helps to increase levels of serotonin, resulting in more feelings of well-being and a general, all-around boost to mood. Exercise actually makes you feel better, starting in your brain.