Exercise to Alleviate Pain

Exercise to Alleviate Pain

If you are living with chronic back and spinal pain, that last thing you’ll probably want to do is exercise. Many people feel that exercise can worsen their pain or injury, or that it may prevent healing. What many chronic pain sufferers don’t realize is that some exercise can actually help reduce certain kinds of back, neck and spinal pain with cardiovascular, flexibility, and strengthening exercise.

Walking for healthy muscles

Walking can be very beneficial for people who are suffering from pain, if they are able to do so. Walking is a simple, light aerobic exercise that almost anyone can do, as it is low-impact and can be done just about anywhere. Walking helps the body to supply more oxygen to the muscles, build stamina, and reduce pain and stiffness. Try walking around a shopping mall, your neighborhood, a park, a local track, or the beach.

Swimming to ease joint pain

One of the best low-impact exercises that’s easy on your joints is swimming. The “low-gravity” effect of water prevents any sudden jolts or pressure from being put on the joints. Your movements and reactions are forced to slow down, helping you to strengthen the muscles around your joints without sustaining any additional injuries. Look for a community or gym pool if you don’t have one at home.

Yoga for increased flexibility and posture

Yoga is perfect for targeting certain muscle groups, as well as adjusting the intensity to your comfort level. Yoga helps to build endurance, increase flexibility and improve posture, poor sleeping habits, and concentration. If you are bedridden, start small with breathing and meditation, concentrating on specific areas of the body.

Stretching for improved mobility

Simple stretching can help to reduce a wide variety of pain problems. Stretching can promote better circulation and blood flow to the muscles for improved functionality. It also helps to loosen tight, stiff muscles while improving your muscles’ range of motion. Like walking, stretching can be done almost anywhere.

For more information on what you can do to ease your back and spinal pain through exercise, stop by the office and ask for a free booklet on any of these:

  • Neck Exercises for a Healthy Neck
  • Back Exercises for a Healthy Back
  • Walking for Fitness

Or, call the spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho today at (208) 944-0056 to schedule an appointment.

How Cold Weather Affects Chronic Pain

How Cold Weather Affects Chronic Pain

Sometimes, people who experience chronic joint pain can “predict” weather changes based on how their joints feel. Many people have reported that as the temperature drops, conditions like back pain, neck pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia are exacerbated.

Chronic pain and barometric pressure

Though researchers have yet to unanimously agree that weather worsens pain, there are theories as to why this may occur. One popular theory addresses air pressure changes, which occur when the temperatures drop. Though many people say that their pain worsens with cold, rainy weather, research shows that it’s not because of the low temperatures, rain, or snow. It’s actually the barometric pressure.

What is barometric pressure?

Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us. The tissues surrounding the joints are similar to a balloon. As barometric pressure rises, it pushes against the body and keeps the tissues from expanding.

Barometric pressure will often drop prior to when the cold weather actually hits. As the barometric pressure lowers, it significantly decreases the amount of pressure placed on the body. This causes the tissues to expand and puts extra pressure on the joints.

Ways to remedy the pain

When cold weather makes your chronic pain worse, try incorporating heat therapy into your daily routine. Heat helps to decrease stiffness and promotes healthy circulation. Try these tips:

  • Apply a hot pack, warm towel or heating pad to the painful area for 20 minutes at a time
  • Try over-the-counter heat wraps applied directly to the skin
  • Use water therapy by swimming in a heated pool or soaking in a Jacuzzi or hot bath
  • Stay active to keep the muscles warm

If you are suffering from chronic back or neck pain, call the spine specialists at Spine Surgery of Idaho today at (208) 944-0056 to schedule your next appointment.