The Benefits of Exercise Therapy for Pain Management

Do you suffer from physical pain? It can become a chronic and debilitating condition that affects the quality of life. Pharmaceutical solutions can help manage pain, but those are not the only way. There is a natural way to reduce pain and improve your overall well-being: exercise therapy. There are many benefits of exercise therapy we would love to share with you!

In this blog, we’ll explore the connection between exercise, endorphins and pain management. We’ll also go through the science behind how exercise therapy can help retrain oversensitive nervous systems. Lastly, we’ll provide strategies for overcoming the initial challenges of exercising through pain. Let’s discover some of the benefits of exercise therapy below.

Endorphins: Your Body’s Natural Opioid System

Endorphins play a pivotal role in pain management and overall well-being. People commonly refer to them as your body’s natural opioids. Endorphins release neurotransmitters in response to pain, stress and pleasurable activities, such as exercise.

Oftentimes, people refer to Endorphins as messengers to your body. They send out “feel-good” chemicals throughout your nervous system while taking part in activities like eating, exercising, laughing and more. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus, located in the brain, create endorphins. 

When your system releases endorphins, they act as natural pain medicine, helping to reduce stress and boost your sense of happiness. In essence, your body has its own pain medicine and you are always carrying it. The key to unlocking this natural pain reliever lies in movement!

Chronic Pain and an Oversensitive Nervous System

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, chronic pain is “long-standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period.” Typically, this means it lasts three months or more. It is a complex issue that affects millions of people of all ages worldwide. This is very different from acute pain, which acts as an alarm for an immediate threat to our bodies. Chronic pain lingers for extended periods, often lasting more than three months.

Chronic pain often comes from health issues such as arthritis, cancer pain, fibromyalgia and more. It can also come from previous surgeries or injuries. One in five adults live with chronic pain, but many do not know how to manage it.

What’s interesting is that chronic pain is often the result of an oversensitive nervous system. The initial injury has healed, but the nervous system remains on high alert. This means that your nervous system is constantly sending pain signals even when there’s no real danger.

For example, imagine if someone does not calibrate the airport metal detector properly. Any small object will trigger the alarm, causing constant fear even if there is no actual danger. Chronic pain is similar in that your nervous system overreacts to pain signals. Fortunately, exercise therapy is one of the few clinically proven methods to reduce this oversensitivity and relieve pain.

What is the Nervous System?

The nervous system is what controls all of your thoughts, movements and automatic responses. In addition to this, it also controls your digestion, breathing and more. It is a very complex system which regulates your body, sending out electrical signals to and from all over your body. 

Your nervous system includes your brain and spinal cord (part of the central nervous system) and the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system includes nerves that branch from your central nervous system to the rest of your body.

How Does Chronic Pain Feel?

Not all chronic pain is the same. There are various symptoms of chronic pain, but some common ways people describe their pain include:

  • Stiffness
  • Stinging
  • Throbbing
  • Burning
  • Shooting

Chronic pain is exhausting. Someone who has never experienced chronic pain will never truly know how it feels. It can result in anger and guilt because they are not able to live their lives normally. If someone in your life suffers from chronic pain, listen and try to understand the types of pain they experience.

It’s challenging to live with chronic pain.

It’s important to understand that there are ways to relieve chronic pain through exercise therapy. We’re ready to help you every step of the way with physical activity which will relieve pain!

The Healing Power of Movement Through Exercise Therapy

While it may sound counterintuitive, moving your body is the key to soothing an oversensitive nervous system. Exercise therapy helps retrain your nervous system to better distinguish between real threats and everyday sensations. The process may take time, but the results are worth the effort.

Here are some of the benefits of exercise therapy for pain management:

  1. Natural Pain Relief: As you engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins, which act as natural pain medicine. Exercise therapy, or other physical activity, also strengthens your muscles and reduces stiffness, resulting in moving easier and supporting weakened joints.
  2. Stress Reduction: Exercise therapy also helps reduce stress, which can exacerbate chronic pain. When we exercise, our body reduces stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Research has even proven that it helps us with other psychological benefits such as anxiety and depression. This will vastly improve our quality of life.
  3. Improved Well-being: Regular exercise contributes to an overall sense of well-being, increasing your mental and emotional resilience. Physical activity pumps blood to the brain, releasing serotonin, which helps maintain your mood.
  4. Cost-Effective: Exercise therapy is a free or low-cost approach to pain management, making it accessible to virtually anyone. Enroll in a course or schedule a private session with our team at Exercise With Care! We’ll help you relieve pain. 
  5. Pain Relief: Your nervous system will gradually become less sensitive. Exercise therapy, which focuses on exercises that feel good, can reduce or even eliminate your chronic pain.

Enrolling in exercise therapy will not only improve your chronic pain but also improve your mental health! By providing a structured routine that fits your lifestyle and a sense of purpose, you will feel empowered! This can be crucial for recovery from chronic pain.

Overcoming the Initial Hurdles in Exercise Therapy

One of the most significant challenges of exercise therapy for chronic pain is the initial discomfort. It’s natural to be apprehensive about physical activity when you’re in pain. However, your brain, ever the protector, focuses on avoiding discomfort. To rewire your thinking and make exercise pleasurable takes time and effort.

You may feel it’s too difficult or you’re too tired to take on a new challenge such as exercising. But once you do, you will learn to enjoy it and actively make it part of your daily routine. This will ultimately result in pain relief and an improved quality of life.

Exercise therapy helps you find pain-free body parts and move in ways that feel good. Like any skill, this process requires repetition and time for your brain and body to establish a new habit. Exercise therapy centres around feeling great rather than fearing pain.

It may seem like a never-ending journey, but in the end, you will feel better in your body due to the benefits of exercise therapy!

Exercise Therapy at Exercise With Care

Exercise therapy offers a natural, effective, and cost-efficient solution to chronic pain management. Regain your quality of life and reduce chronic pain through the release of endorphins!

At Exercise With Care, we’ll help you move like you did when you were a kid! There are just three steps you need to take with us to start living healthy:

  1. Discovery: Let’s work together to discover the real source of your pain. We will create an exercise therapy plan to help relieve it. At Exercise With Care, we don’t just bandage your symptoms; we effectively address the cause to ensure you start feeling better!
  2. Drills: Once a plan is in place, you will receive videos of the various exercises so you can do them regularly. They are easy and fun! Over time, you’ll notice that your body and brain are retraining, and you’ll experience pain relief.
  3. Move like you did when you were a kid: In no time, you’ll be moving normally again! No more pain or stiffness after you start exercise therapy.

Remember, physical activity might hurt initially. With patience, practice, and the guidance of a professional at Exercise With Care, you can unlock your body’s natural pain medicine. Let’s embark on a journey toward a pain-free, healthier, and happier life. So, don’t wait; start moving today, and let your body’s natural opioids work their magic!

Contact us today and start now! We offer various services to help you move like a kid again. Join us for small group sessions or private sessions and feel the benefits of exercise therapy.

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Anne Klausner

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