When you are suffering from chronic pain, very often the last thing you want to do is exercise. It feels like too much of an effort on top of everything els. Childcare, work commitments and so on – it can be far more tempting to flop into the sofa with a hot cuppa, and get stuck into Netflix.
Yet simple, gentle exercise can make all the difference to some pain levels. It might even stop a flare-up in its tracks or prevent it from turning into a relapse. Of course it requires willpower (explain) and determination (explain) but by incorporating small, positive steps into your daily routine it could help lead you to a brighter, and more pain-manageable future.
This simple mantra might help.
S – Start Small
A small start is better than no start at all. And it’s definitely better than a big huge start which leaves you unable to do anything for days or weeks on end. In his book, Pain Free 123, Dr … outlines a simple 3 minute routine to help stretch the body and free it of mico damage to the muscles and bones.
The beauty of this is that it takes no longer than brushing one’s teeth, but it is easy to incorporate into a daily routine until it reaches the point it feels common place.
T – teamwork
Or, at least, someone to partner with to hold you accountable in your exercise. It could be your spouse, a close friend or you child. Such support is especially useful if you’re having a flare-up of pain when a little gentle exercise might make all the difference, but it feels too much effort. Just knowing that someone is going to check in on you and see what you have done might be enough for you to do 3 minutes of gentle stretches, even if you can’t do anything else.
But choose your support partner with care. You don’t need an unsympathetic drill sergent shouting at you – telling you you’re not trying hard enough!
Even if you can’t meet in person, providing support via WhatsApp or Skype can be invaluable too.
Enjoyment – find the type of exercise you enjoy.