Are you sitting on your aforementioned couch suffering from frequent or chronic pain? You are tired, in pain, and the last thing you want to do is get up off the couch and move? We hear you, but it’s time to make some changes. Let us explain how a sedentary lifestyle impacts chronic pain.
Inactivity Worsens Chronic Pain
We know; you don’t want to hear anything about getting up and actually moving, but the facts are in. Lack of exercise can make your chronic pain worse.
There are over 100 million adults who are affected by chronic pain in the United States, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Inactivity leads to stiff muscles, decreased mobility and strength, whereas increasing your activity even a little bit can decrease inflammation, increase mobility, and reduce pain even without medications.
Being inactive worsens the symptoms of chronic pain, but doing some sort of regular exercise can help to manage your symptoms and improve your health.
Still Not Convinced?
If you are still on the couch, and wary of these facts because it will hurt when you get up, keep reading.
There is something called “disuse syndrome”. In simple terms, it means that if we don’t move (use) our bodies, our body will deteriorate. The consequences of disuse are clear. It can affect our spine, muscles, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and nervous systems.
Some examples include the following:
- When someone is laid up in a bed from illness or injury for any length of time, bodily changes occur. When you don’t use your muscles, they can atrophy. Weakened muscles are more at risk of injury.
- Cardiovascular effects include a decrease in your oxygen intake, a rise in systolic blood pressure, and a decline in plasma because inactivity weakens the heart’s ability to function.
- Physical inactivity leads to nervous system problems like slower mental processing, issues with memory and concentration, depression, and anxiety.
- Weight bearing activity is necessary for continual bone nutrients. Movement maintains bone density, whereas inactivity leads to bone loss and the development of osteoporosis and additional chronic pain.
- A suppressed immune system and a reduced hormone response are also results of inactivity.
Start Small And Talk To Madison Medical Associates
Don’t panic and think you have to run out and overdo any exercise regimen. If you are truly ready to vacate your couch, talk with Madison Medical Associates for suggestions about how to begin.
Simple cardio exercises like walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes is a good way to start. You need no equipment and it will increase your strength and endurance.
Swimming and water aerobics is another way to begin, especially if you have mobility issues. This is low impact exercise with no stress on joints or muscles.
Yes, you can get off the couch and decrease your chronic pain. Just start small, slowly, and move at your own pace.
Contact Madison Medical Associates at (256) 325-1160 if you want additional recommendations to increase your activity and reduce your chronic pain.