The Importance of Exercising When You Have Pain

The Importance of Exercising When You Have Pain

Pain is a signal your body sends when there's an issue, either from a chronic problem or an acute injury. When you feel pain, you likely don't want to do anything but kick back and relax until it resolves.

However, that could be the worst thing you can do. Sitting around exacerbates your pain, especially related to a muscle injury or spine condition.

Dr. Shachi Patel and the Delmarva Pain and Spine Center team understand how crucial it is to find a treatment for your pain. Dr. Patel offers several effective treatments to ease your pain and provides you with exercises to help alleviate discomfort naturally.

Types of pain

Pain isn't something anyone hopes for, but it's an unfortunate part of life. Various types of pain can happen, including sudden or pain that lasts several weeks to months.

When you have pain, it's a sensation that comes from your nerves, which sends a signal to your brain. That's the reason pain exists. There are several different forms of pain, which include the following:

Somatic pain and visceral pain are types of nociceptive pain. Somatic pain results from damaged nerves in your tissues, while visceral pain happens to your internal organs.

You can manage most forms of pain through conservative measures like exercise, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatories.

How exercising helps ease pain

Exercise is one of the first treatments Dr. Patel suggests when you have pain. Exercise helps to increase your pain tolerance while reducing feelings of pain or discomfort during and after physical activity.

Endorphins are feel-good hormones that your body releases during times of stress or significant pain. Your brain secretes endorphins to block your pain receptors and increase a sense of well-being.

When your brain releases endorphins, they also stimulate your opioid receptors, which causes an analgesic effect for a short period.

Even when you're in pain, regular exercise significantly helps your symptoms through endorphins. They counteract your pain for several hours during and after your activities.

Types of exercise for pain

Depending on your type of pain, Dr. Patel recommends several forms of exercise to increase your functionality and promote healing in your body. A few of the kinds of activities she recommends include:


Cardio is a great way to get your endorphins to manage different pain types. You can take a walk, go swimming, or try aerobics to get some exercise without having to spend hours at the gym.


Stretching helps promote flexibility, range-of-motion, and circulation to your muscles and joints. Stretching is essential before exercise and after to keep your body from getting sore and stiff. Stretch various body areas, including your back and neck, to help with discomfort.

Strength training

Building strength in your body is a great way to combat pain. Strengthening your muscles not only helps deal with current pain but can prevent future issues from occurring. Start slow with strength training and slowly build muscle for the best outcome.

Try using deep breathing exercises and visualization to promote healing and a calm mindset while dealing with pain. You can also practice relaxation exercises to help deal with acute or chronic pain. These exercises relax your body and help you ease your mind.

When to listen to your body

Although exercise is a great way to manage your pain symptoms, it's not always the best idea. You should always listen to your body so you don't push yourself too hard and cause more harm than good.

When you have pain, light exercise, and range-of-motion activities are crucial to your recovery. However, there's such a thing as too much too soon.

Before you exercise, when you have pain, talk to Dr. Patel about the exercises you should be doing and how often. She advises you on safe ways to get in movement and physical activity without causing more damage or discomfort.

While you're exercising, it's crucial that you listen to your body. Your body is likely telling you something is off, so take a break and try something different that doesn't hurt. If you feel more pain making certain motions, don't try to push through the discomfort.

If you're unsure and think you may have suffered an injury or your pain is worsening, contact Dr. Patel to discuss the next steps.

Call our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patel for pain management, or book an appointment on the website.

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