General health

Can you manage pain with exercise?

It’s crucial to understand the distinction between acute and persistent pain, and the significance of appropriate exercise in managing and alleviating musculoskeletal discomfort.

Here are some key points from our team giving you some insights on managing pain with exercise:

1. Ensure you know the difference between acute and persistent pain

  • Acute pain is short-term and associated with potential bodily harm, typically healing within three months.
  • Persistent pain lasts longer, usually not due to ongoing damage, but rather the heightened sensitivity of the central nervous system.

2. Exercise plays an important role in managing pain

  • Graded exercise, guided by a professional, can improve pain and psychological well-being for both acute and persistent pain.
  • It’s essential to strike a balance between activity and rest, gradually increasing duration and intensity based on symptoms.

3. Seek professional guidance to manage pain

  • Consult a physiotherapist or doctor when experiencing pain for appropriate medical advice and assessment.
  • Physiotherapy has proven effective in managing various conditions, including back pain and muscular or joint discomfort.

4. Self-initiated low-impact exercises play an important role in managing pain

  • Walking, swimming, and weight training, under professional guidance, can contribute positively to pain management and recovery.
  • Stretching, bodyweight classes, Pilates, and yoga can improve flexibility and strength, with modifications tailored to individual conditions.

5. Exercise caution with certain activities

  • Avoid high-impact exercises that worsen pain, and consider a temporary suspension of sports involving sudden movements until pain becomes manageable.
  • Gradually reintroduce lower-impact exercises with reduced intensity and speed, with guidance from your physiotherapist.

6. Importance of Addressing Pain:

  • Don’t overlook persistent pain; consult a physiotherapist or GP for a proper assessment.
  • In most cases, appropriate exercise can aid in pain reduction, tissue healing, and overall recovery.

These recommendations underscore the importance of a holistic approach to managing musculoskeletal pain, integrating appropriate exercises with professional guidance, to ensure a safe and effective recovery process.

At our centres, we offer fast access to specialist private GPs, orthopaedic consultants and physiotherapists. Backed by first class diagnostic scanning tools such as MRI and ultrasound, our team are highly experienced to help diagnose and treat pain management with MSK issues.

If you are experiencing pain and would like to discuss it with an expert, book an Outpatient or Private GP appointment today. Click here to book. 

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