It’s simple: exercise is good for you. It can increase a person’s outlook on life and improve health problems. Although exercise is important, especially for chronic pain management, it can be challenging because of the impact it can place on your body.
A great, low impact, exercise for chronic pain sufferers is swimming, water exercises or pool therapy to stay physically fit without experiencing discomfort. Often known as hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy, pool therapy can help alleviate pain while building stronger muscles.
Because of the buoyancy, viscosity and hydrostatic pressure, water exercises provide mild resistance and support for individuals compared to land-based exercises. In a pool, a person’s weak muscles are supported, flexibility is enhanced and range of motion is increased.
To help improve muscular strength and endurance, the five water exercises below are perfect for chronic pain sufferers.
While holding onto the side of the pool with one hand, stand on one slightly bent leg. While holding this position, outstretch the opposite leg to the front. Bring the knee of the outstretched leg slowly inward to the chest and then back down. Switch sides and perform exercise again.
While holding onto the side of the pool, extend one leg. While doing this, the supporting leg should be slightly bent. Slowly raise the outstretched leg upwards and then back down. Switch sides and perform exercise again.
Wall-Facing Leg Stretch
While facing the pool wall, extend your arms in a ‘V’ shape and rest them on the side of the pool. While holding this position, extend your legs to mimic the same ‘V’ shape as your arms. Switch sides and perform exercise again.
While standing in chest-high water, begin walking forward and then backward around the pool. To make this exercise more challenging, pool hand weights can be added.
While floating on your back, create a paddling motion with the arms and legs. If necessary, use a life jacket or have someone lifting up to support your trunk for stabilization. Switch sides and perform exercise again.
Performing the water exercise examples above is just one way to alleviate chronic pain. It’s important to note that these exercises should be tailored to fit each individual’s needs based on pain level and previous conditions.