Exercises that help you battle pain
Walking for back pain: Got a nagging backache? Simply put on your sports shoes and walk. Numerous studies throw light on how walking lessens pain, boosts muscle strength and flexibility, quickens healing and can also prevent any further ache. One study showed that the activity brings down lower back pain up to 50%. Walking is also a feel-good mantra as it stimulates the brain to release serotonin and endorphins, (which make you feel better, mentally). If it’s raining, don’t fret, just do 10 minutes of walking on the treadmill each day. However, if at all you develop acute pain or start to feel dizzy, stop and consult a doctor.
Boardroom boring? Take a walk: Corporates are increasingly taking up the trend of ‘walking meetings’, where they take the meeting in outdoor environments, be it the company building terrace, sidewalk or a park. This is a wellness-meets-focus event that tries to remove the monotony and depression associated with an indoor meeting.Advantages: Eases lower back and joint pain, reduces blood pressure and boosts immunity.
Water therapy: Working out in water (indoor pool) is a hugely popular trend when it comes to pain relief. It is widely practised as a rehabilitative regimen for physical ailments. You can try aqua-jogging, water aerobics or yoga, or even something as basic as walking in water. There are also underwater spinning studios that offer aqua cycling. The main benefit of this therapy lies in the fact that the buoyant effect of the water greatly takes the pressure off the joints, reducing pain. It also has less risk of injury and allows pain-free movement, making it apt for those suffering from lower body musculoskeletal injuries. Advantages: Reduces muscle pain, builds stamina.
Cycling: Arthritis, which is pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints, is common, especially in cases of previous injury to the body. But there are exercises to battle this. If you have painful knees, ask a doctor and get onto a cycling program. You can pedal outdoors or indoors on a stationary bike. Cycling is said to strengthen the thighs, buttocks and quadriceps — all or which are arthritic sites — and reduce pain. You may do a light workout on the cycle if you have knee pain. It is considered an effective cardiovascular workout minus weights and helps ward off the onset of arthritic conditions. Advantages: Increases mobility, reduces knee and other joint pains.
Yoga and pilates: Called yogalates, this is a fusion between the traditional principles of yoga merged with modern pilates. In it, you can try a series of postures, which require a definite focus. This gets your mind off daily stressors. Pilates is about core muscle control while yoga helps build flexibility. In a study, it was found that after just two months of yoga, participants got relief from chronic neck pain. Another study also found that it provided pain relief to patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Advantages: Increases flexibility and reduces neck and body ache.
Tai chi: This martial arts technique with its slow, controlled movements, is another way to attain relief from back and neck pain. With Tai Chi,each movement flows into the next, so there is a constant motion. Whether it’s twisting slowly from one side to another, or doing a back stretch, the regimen is relaxing and calming. You also have to concentrate on the postures as well as your breathing, so it discards negativity and builds focus. A site quotes how recommendations from the American College of Rheumatology (2012) have included this regimen as a therapy for knee osteoarthritis.
Advantages: Effective for osteoarthritis pain control and improves muscle stiffness.