If you have chronic pain, MOVE!

This new entry is addressed directly to you, patient with chronic pain, to tell you that … YOU CAN MOVE! The pain and more in those syndromes of months and years of evolution can be amplified and distorted, making it prevent us from doing our daily, social, work, sports, healthy life … What do we intend with this entry? Explain why moving, by gentle aerobic exercise and simple exercises, and above all, walking around losing the fear of pain, is the best treatment to relieve pain and improve physical and functional abilities that are diminished.

BRAIN AND MOVEMENT TO IMPROVE PAIN. THE VIRTUAL BODIES 6

In all our blogs, we have had that the brain is a fundamental part where the pain pass to have a character chronic and perpetuated in time. And because? Because in our minds, we have our bodies represented in two variants: sensitive (what we feel) and motor (how we move). These two bodies, whose drawings are quite different from our real collection, we call them homunculi. Look, for example, the importance that our brain gives to the hands, feet, and mouth, fundamental parts to communicate and interact with the world.

Imagine, then, that you begin to develop chronic pain. What happens to this virtual body? That is blurred, our brain no longer correctly recognizes our body concerning what we feel and / or move. And if our mind does not locate our body, the sensations that come to us can be misinterpreted in a brain that no longer has our body profiled correctly. The information would reach the brain in a distorted way. And how can the brain transform and interpret these signals? With pain. As we have already spoken, pain is an alarm signal to a threat of real or potential damage, to protect our body.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MOVING TO IMPROVE THE VIRTUAL BODY. ENRICH THE BRAIN 6

So, if our brain has our entire body represented both by the sensations that come to it and by the movement that occurs, and we understand the brain as a great center of operations, it is straightforward to realize that if we do not move our brain stops us from perceiving.

And what happens if you start moving if you leave excessive rest aside and do physical activity depending on your possibilities and regardless of the type of exercises? That your brain finds out that you are there, that your joints move. That will make all the sensations that come to us interpreted in a much more effective way. But what we talk about is not only good for the brain. The movement causes our joints to have better lubrication, that synovial fluid (joint lubricant) is redistributed through the joint.

“BUT WITH HERNIA, MY DISEASE, I FEAR MOVING. It’s going to hurt.”

Classically, disc herniation has been understood as a great enemy. But you should know that lesions of the intervertebral discs (hernias, protrusions, dehydration, etc.) are also found in patients who have NEVER had back pain. And in many other cases, they are not related to the symptoms of back pain the patient has. In a previous blog, we talked more about this aspect. It is usual for the disc to wear out, even in young people; its function is supportive, and that wear does not have to translate into pain.

In other diseases, sometimes the fear itself that hurts is more disabling than the pain itself.

SIMPLE GUIDELINES TO MOVE AND IMPROVE PAIN 6

  • The guidelines that you are going to read here have probably already been received from other professionals or read on other sites, but he believes that sometimes it is not necessary to do very complicated things. The simple is sometimes the most important, and you have to want to move and know that you can improve with it!
  • Decide what activity or task you like to do, or what you think you need to do to improve: walk, drive, read … Identify how long you can do it without the pain appearing and plan a day-to-day progression.
  • Do gentle exercises of knee movements, gentle inclinations of the spine, neck movements, etc., both lying on your back, sitting, or standing. Do it on different surfaces. Even plan activities that involve moving your column, things you like to do.
  • And all this does it at different times of the day, with music, and not only when you are animated (all emotional states enrich the brain). Make them in the water, in front of a mirror. Do them in different places ( even at work, which sometimes you feel you have more pain there, and it doesn’t have to).

This will enrich the brain, and the sensations it receives fantastically improve our abilities in our day today, and that will result in less pain.

“But it hurts the slightest movement.”

  • You don’t have to do all the movements completely. You can move in the degrees you can and progress slowly. You don’t have to bend your knee or elbow completely; just like your back, you can move whatever you want it to move.
  • And if only starting the pain already hurts, imagine the movement. Imagine and think the movements that hurt you, as it sounds, or see other people do it, activate your areas of the brain related to the movement, but not the pain. And that is excellent preparation for when you can “really” move your painful joint. And if even imagining it hurts you, imagine only part of the movement.

IMPORTANT:  If one day you have more pain, nothing happens, it can happen. That does not mean that you are worse or that you are not going to improve.

With these simple guidelines, carried out gradually, and supervised by your physiotherapist and pain specialist, you will get improvements. Of course, it is a race at the bottom, you will have to give it a medium-term, and we do not know the exact potential for improvement, but resting and avoiding movement will only be a factor that perpetuates your pain.

Manual therapy and classical physiotherapy, by themselves, can help you, but if you give it an importance that you deserve to move and exercise gently, the effect will be enhanced and will be much greater. And not only will the pain improve, but also improvements in sleep, health status, and quality of life will occur. DON’T BE AFRAID, MOVE!

At the PremiumMadrid Medical and Rehabilitation Center, we understand the importance of active physiotherapy and physical activity as a primary part of health. Do not hesitate to contact our therapists and trainers  for any questions regarding how we treat your chronic pain, either with exercises active physiotherapy, exercise aerobic or pool, among others

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