If you’ve suffered from chronic pain anywhere in your body, you don’t need us telling you that it isn’t fun. Whether you’re recovering from a long term injury, or suffering due to an illness or specific incident, long-lasting pain can make exercising not only unpleasant and unenjoyable, but also exceptionally painful.
The worst step we can take in this situation is to stop exercising altogether. Not just for our physical health, but also for our mental wellbeing.
The first step to take is accepting where we are now. You have to accept the pain – it may never go away. But remember – acceptance does not mean there’s nothing you can do to change your circumstances.
What’s your goal?
Your goal may be to do one push-up.
This is your goal to develop more upper body strength, and become more effective when doing a push up. So you know what you want to do; now let’s consider alternative methods of reaching your goal, which don’t affect your chronic pain in such a severe manner,
Look at your options
There’s never only one way to do something. There are always alternatives, which work better for some people.
Your different options may change on a daily basis, depending on how your body is feeling at any given time. In the example of a push-up, a flare-up of a painful area may mean attempting or practising the push-up on your knees, or with wider hands or feet.
To improve the shoulder strength needed for a push up, but without putting most of your body weight on your wrists, you can practise shoulder raises with lighter weights, or even partially-supported pull-ups.
In time, and by utilising your entire toolbox of body movements available for you, you’ll soon discover similar movements, which don’t exacerbate painful body parts, but still allow you to work on achieving your goals.
Whilst it’s never ideal to have chronic pain in any body part, the main takeaway is that by changing the perception of chronic pain, and focusing on our goals, we can become creative with solutions, and reach the peak of any fitness goal we set.
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As always, stay fit and healthy
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