Gone are the days when doctors recommended patients to rest or prescribed opioids for relieving chronic pain. Fortunately, doctors in South Florida are now prescribing far less deadly and addictive pain management pills after a massive crackdown in the Sunshine State. The modern approach says, ‘exercise is medicine.’ Though patients today are advised to take a break for a while, they are also encouraged to go for workout sessions from time to time. You may start exercising with great enthusiasm, but soon discontinue due to fitness injuries and thus fail to benefit for from the same. Tampa in Florida, a popular destination for medical tourists, is a hub for numerous pain management centers where the professionals treat patients plagued with chronic pain combining both safe medications and non-pharma methods with more focus on exercising. Along with recommending the right exercises, experts from the walk-in clinics in South Tampa help you to work out the right way. Here are some ways to prevent workout injuries among chronic patients:
The exercise sessions should be started at a slow pace. There is no need to push yourself too hard. Using a 0-10 scale is useful to keep a tab on the pain level at the time of exercising so that it does not worsen. If there is an increase of two points from the baseline, stop the exercise and focus on modifying it. Going for long stretches is a common tendency among people, although you can get the same results from shorter workout sessions too. The chronic pain patients are often suggested to split their workout sessions for avoiding strain and discomfort.
Know your Weak Areas
Building up the weak areas of your body is always great, but that should not be at the cost of your health. Therefore, it’s important to know what your limitations are to avoid injuries. For instance, if a patient has knee problems, he or she should avoid using steppers, running on a treadmill, or try leg presses because all of these can injure a weakened knee, aggravating the pain.
Choose the Right Time
The chronic pain patients are advised to do work out when their muscles are not tensed, or when they are not fatigued. The best time for exercising for them is mid-morning or early afternoon. You can also work out when you feel that your medications are working. Although a workout session early in the morning is common among chronic pain patients, the time may not be suitable, as the muscles lack full flexibility. But, each person is different and so are the exercise patterns. Therefore, listen what your body says before setting a schedule.
Focus on the Best Workouts
Certain types of physical exercises are used widely for treating chronic pain. Yoga is preferred because of its breathing techniques, movement, and stretching. Even for the bedridden patients, breathing exercises and passive muscle movements can work a lot. However, Yoga involves extensive spine and joint mobility and so, going beyond the comfort zone may be harmful.
Tai Chi, a Chinese Martial Art, is another widely used form of physical exercises for treating chronic pain. It is suitable for people of all ages and focuses on cultivating mindfulness, balance, endurance, and strength. According to the New England Journal of Medicine study, practicing Tai Chi twice in a week for 12 weeks, the people in the study group reported reduced fatigue, stiffness, pain, and improved sleep among fibromyalgia patients.
Pilates is mainly focused on reducing lower back pain, though it is highly effective in treating fibromyalgia patients. However, Pilates should be practiced under proper supervision. Therefore, seek help from experienced professionals.
Spend Time in Strength Training
Strength training tones your muscles and makes them stronger. As a result, those muscles need to put fewer efforts, which in turn reduce the fatigue. Additionally, the strength training lowers depression, which is quite common among chronic pain patients.
At the initial stage of the strength training, start with lifting the light weights (one to three pounds) which you are comfortable with. Make sure you can lift it for eight repetitions and then gradually increase up to ten to twelve reps. Once you complete two sessions of 12 reps in succession, start practicing with slightly higher weights. Focus on the major areas like chest, shoulders, arms, legs, abs, and back and do the training for two to three times every week.
Do Not Ignore the Simpler Physical Activities
Along with structured physical activities, the simple ones too are equally important for chronic pain management. When it comes to light aerobic exercises, walking is an excellent option that keeps the muscles healthy, lowers the pain and stiffness, and increases your stamina. Biking is another excellent choice as the back, and forth movement involved is useful for muscle relaxation.
The other aerobic exercises such as swimming and water aerobics in a heated swimming pool relax the muscles to a great extent while putting less pressure on the joints. However, look out for a warm water pool as the cold water can strain your muscles. The professionals usually recommend doing these low impact aerobics for four alternate days in a week. Joining a workout or walking group will keep you motivated too.
Go for Everyday Activities
The daily activities such as gardening, mopping the floor or just playing with kids count when you want to reduce the chronic pain symptoms. The experts suggest having a plan for the whole day and keeping the tough ones for the morning. Also, take preventive measures to avoid injuries. For example, stay on the floor while playing with kids because it will eliminate the need for bending or leaning over. Use a lightweight mop to wipe the floor without straining your hands and knees.
Exercise is an integral part of the pain management process. However, it gives the best results when you follow the right way. The experts from the walk-in clinics in South Tampa e emphasizes on making your body ready gradually before starting a workout session. No matter which exercises you opt for, ensure that you do not rush, move too fast, or twist or stretch beyond your limitations that may aggravate the pain.