Whether you’re experiencing pain in your back or joints, or any other kind of pain, if you’re in pain, chances are the last thing you want to do is exercise. You may be worried exercise could worsen the pain you’re feeling or prevent you from healing.

What most people don’t know is that some exercise can actually help reduce certain kinds of pain by improving your pain threshold with cardiovascular, strengthening, and flexibility exercise.

Walking to keep muscles healthy

Walking is one of the best exercises for those experiencing pain, if they are able to do it. Walking is an easy exercise to do, light aerobic exercise that can provide many benefits to your health. Walking is low-impact and can be done almost anywhere, including shopping malls, parks, neighborhoods, a local track or the beach.

While walking, your body will supply more oxygen to your muscles to keep them healthy. Walking will also help build your stamina and reduce pain and stiffness, all while simultaneously boosting your energy.

Swimming for joint pain

Swimming and water aerobics are great options for those suffering from joint pain because they prevent any sudden jolts or pressure on the joints. Due to the “low gravity effect” that water gives, the movements your body makes will be slowed, putting far less pressure on your joints and muscles. If you don’t have access to a pool at home, look for a community pool in your city or try joining a gym.

Yoga for flexibility and posture

The perk to practicing yoga is that you can cater it to specific muscle groups and skill level or difficulty. For those who are bedridden, you can even start with breathing exercises, focusing your energy on specific parts of the body in active or passive movements.

Yoga also will help to build your endurance, increase flexibility and improve posture, sleep and concentration.

Simple stretching for improved mobility

Stretching at least once a day will help with a wide variety of pain issues. Sometimes simply stretching your body throughout the day can help with circulation and blood flow to the muscles.

Much like walking, stretching can be done almost anywhere. Stretching will help with flexibility and will loosen tight, stiff muscles while improving your muscles’ range of motion. Increased flexibility will help ease your pain and help your body adapt to more strenuous activities.

Lightweight strength training to strengthen muscles

Lightweight strength training is actually great for decreasing pain caused by certain conditions, like arthritis. Lifting weights will strengthen the joints around any injury and reduce pressure on the joints.

Start with one-pound weights and, as you grow stronger, you may increase your weight. But be sure to pace yourself. Using precise, controlled movements, work the major muscle groups surrounding the pain like the legs, chest, shoulders, back, arms and abs two to three times per week.

Start with a weight you can lift comfortably for eight reps, then progressively move up two reps as you grow stronger. When you can lift the weight 12 times, two sessions in a row, you’re ready to increase the weight slightly, but be sure to step back down to eight reps.

If you would like to speak to a pain specialist, give the physicians at Cedar Rapids Pain Associates a call today at (319) 540-8251 to book an appointment.