Exercise is the cheapest, most effective form of pain management anywhere. According the WebMD (link below), more than half of Americans suffer from chronic or recurrent pain, and nearly half (46%) of poll takers reported pain in the last two weeks. That doesn't count the "usual minor annoyances," says the ABCNews/USA Today/Stanford University Medical Center poll.
While exercise is the last thing you'd probably think to do when you're in pain, the reality is that exercise is one of the best forms of pain management there is. You won't want to get started exercising, but once you do you won't give it up because you'll love the pain relief you begin experiencing.
Just what is hurting anyway? Most commonly reported pain occurs in backs, knees, and the head (in the form of migraines). Legs and shoulders are also commonly reported sites for pain.
Living with pain affects quality of life: everything from income, hobbies, responsibilities, and relationships can be affected. Most people at least attempt to find a form of pain relief, but only just over half of people (59%) said they'd gotten at least a "good amount" of pain relief after consulting their doctor.
Most of my personal training clients had regular or recurrent pain somewhere on their body before they started exercising under my tutelage. Every single one of them notes improvements in the level of pain they experience on a daily basis when they are consistent with their workout programs. In fact, many said that their body "told them" it was time to get back to their workouts after a hiatus because their old aches and pains came back.
Exercise is NOT a cure-all for all types of pain, and is no substitute for visiting a doctor or physical therapist if need be. However, exercise offers almost everyone some form of pain relief, even if it's only temporary (however, evidence indicates that in many cases it is permanent as long as you keep up your workout routine). You see, when you work out your body releases a variety of hormones that eases tension in the muscles and increases the "feel-good" chemicals in the brain, not unlike many anti-depressant pills. However, exercise using the correct technique and program has NO side effect other than looking, feeling, and performing your best.
Click here to learn how exercise can contribute to pain relief.