The Best Low-Impact Exercises for Chronic Pain

Ruben Hill
October 5, 2020

Exercise is one of the most recommended ways to manage pain, but it is also one of the greatest challenges for someone with a chronic condition. Finding the right type for you requires careful consideration of not only your abilities and limitations but personal preferences as well. One of the biggest deterrents to programs patients voice is that they just find them too strenuous and unsatisfying. Despite the popularity of high-intensity fitness programs, you do not have to strain your body to exercise and stay fit. These are some of the best low-impact exercises you can do anywhere with no equipment. For someone who suffers from chronic pain, these can reintroduce fitness into your life on your own terms.

Yoga

Yoga is not solely a spiritual practice; poses affect the entire musculoskeletal system in addition to your internal organs and processes. The body, mind and spirit come into play when you adopt a yoga practice, but you can dedicate yourself to any one of the three domains and still reap the benefits. Yoga is also something that is extremely personal; you can modify poses to suit your abilities, focus on one area of the body or do a holistic approach that incorporates meditation and mindfulness as well. Look for yoga programs designed for chronic pain or people with disabilities. There are also seated yoga practices that can be performed by those with reduced mobility or who use a wheelchair.

Swimming

The buoyancy of water alleviates pressure on your joints, which is one of the biggest sources of stress caused by traditional exercise. Just a few walking laps in the shallow end of the pool to start can be a wonderful form of cardiovascular exercise. Many people also find the water itself immensely soothing. You may also want to incorporate some water aerobics into your workout that strengthen and tone muscles. You may not be able to fully cure your condition, but you can work with your body to make it as strong and supportive as possible. Your routine can also coincide with alternative forms of pain management, such as medical marijuana. You may want to consider getting an MMJ card in Mount Vernon, NY, using this seamless online process. In a matter of minutes, you can connect with a local doctor who understands the impacts, effects and applications of medical cannabis to treat a wide range of chronic health conditions.

Stretching and Strengthening

Stretches help improve flexibility, which can reduce tension and inflammation in troubled areas. Core strength exercises can help stabilize your joints by improving posture and balance. These exercises can all be modified to suit your needs. It's best to start out extremely slow with no more than three reps of 10 for each exercise. This visual guide of stretches and this guide to low-impact strength exercises can help you choose the right moves for your body and needs. Talk to your doctor about starting a new workout; you can even ask them or your physical therapist for additional recommendations.

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