When you’re in pain, it can be hard to know what to do for the best, particularly when it comes to exercise. Many people are afraid of doing more damage, while some try to ignore the problem and carry on as normal.
Pain isn’t necessarily a reason to stop exercising altogether. In fact, we know that exercise can, in many situations, help to reduce pain, but it may also be a sign you need to modify your activities.
There is a large evidence base that supports improvements in pain and function with exercise. Numerous cost effective, group rehabilitation programme for people with chronic joint pain, that integrates educational self-management and coping strategies with an exercise regimen individualised for each participant are available.
The goal of exercise is to mobilise the joint, and to build muscle strength that support the joint. Despite our instincts, the presence of pain is not necessarily sound rationale to stop exercising completely. Appropriate exercise through injury can often reduce existing pain, and improve function and wellbeing.
Alternatively, exercising normally through pain (without assessment to your condition) could cause more damage to your body and make your pain worse in the long term.
Modifying your exercise routine when combined with treatments such as massage can make your body feel less pain and allow you to keep working out.