Chronic pain exercises are modified to provide less strain on affected areas in your body. Chronic pain exercises work as an alternative to traditional physical movements. They can be added easily into your daily workout to help strengthen your body and fight against the potential pain. Pain often restricts us from doing the activities that we love. Although exercise is often prescribed as a remedy for pain, the thought of exerting yourself might be intimidating. That’s why it’s beneficial to learn modifications for certain exercises so that you can make an enjoyable routine unique to you and also participate in things like exercise classes.
Chronic Pain Exercises
What to Avoid
- Tight back? Avoid toe touches.
Straight-legged toe touches are great when you have the flexibility to do them, but if you’re too tight, you will be tempted to hyperextend through the backs of the knees and overstretch the ligaments of the spine to get to your toes.
- Aching shoulders? Avoid sit-ups.
Most people rely on their hip flexors rather than their core to do sit-ups. Avoid these if you find that your neck, shoulders and legs are getting more of a workout than your abdominals.
- Scoliosis? Avoid leg lifts.
Though leg lifts are used to strengthen the core, for someone with scoliosis, this exercise is excruciating. You may find your form completely compromised while trying to lift both legs, and that’s exactly what you don’t want.
- Arthritis? Avoid explosive movement.
Plyometrics are great, but if you experience screaming joints and instability, it’s time to find something other than tuck jumps and burpees. Because explosiveness requires “cushioning,” joint issues are a contraindication.
What to Try
- Spinal roll-downs
Replacing toe touches, spinal roll-downs offer an intense, healthy stretch for the spine and promotes flexibility in the hips instead of tightening. Standing with your back against a wall, tuck your chin into your chest. Allow the spine to curve as the crown of your head descends towards your feet. Stop halfway down. Look up into your bellybutton. Engage the core to slowly stack the vertebrae while returning to a neutral position.
- Deadlifts and Squats
Before you call me crazy, there’s a reason why these can be a substitute for sit-ups and leg lifts. Not only do they strengthen the lower back and legs, there’s a slew of variations and modifications. Use a barbell, dumbbells, or a resistance band looped beneath your feet. Maintain a straight back, keep the core engaged, and ground through the heels as you move.
Isometric plank, wall sits, and squat variations simultaneously correct muscular imbalances while strengthening weak muscles without the high intensity. You can be more present in your alignment and technique this way. You can gradually increase the difficulty with these exercises as well.
- Water exercises
If land-based aerobics wreak havoc on your joints, give water exercise a try. Moving in water supports your body while providing friction-free resistance. Swimming, water Zumba and yoga are great options for all ages and fitness levels.