The benefits of exercise for chronic pain disorders

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and was told by her doctor that exercise would help to relieve her pain. She described to me how difficult it is (and, ironically, painful) to actually exercise, though, which prompted me to look into the matter further.

After looking into numbers, I realized chronic pain disorders are not as uncommon as I had previously assumed – recent statistics show that about 1 in 10 Canadians between the ages of 12 to 44 suffer from chronic pain. That’s about 1.5 million people! The rates are even higher for those older than 44. This prompted me to look into ways to effectively exercise to relieve some of the suffering that comes with chronic pain disorders.

Obviously exercise is not beneficial for all chronic pain disorders, such as those that result from something like a bone fragment being broken off, one personal trainer told the Edmonton Journal. The same trainer says that if the problem is exercise correctable, working out can increase movement and decrease pain – great news for anyone who has ever suffered from chronic pain!

As for starting the exercise, many report feeling more energized afterwards despite an extreme difficulty beginning due to feeling fatigued — so the beginning pain can lead to an ultimate gain. Of course, you should always check with a medical professional before starting any kind of routine with a pain disorder, and should be careful not to overdo it.

Prevention.com says that the five best workouts for CPDs are mild, gentle workouts — longer, low intensity reps:

1.Walking
2. Stretching
3. Strength training
4. Yoga
5. Everyday activities

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