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Combating Musculoskeletal Pain

A very common reason for people to stop leading an active lifestyle is the fear of pain. It is obviously an easy reaction to stop any activity that causes your body pain, but avoiding if all together often makes the condition worse. Obviously if an exercise causes you pain doing it is not wise, but what you choose to do after the pain subsides is what affects your long-term recovery. Leading an active lifestyle strengthens your bones, slows the loss of muscle mass, and reduces muscle and joint pain. The worst thing you can do after being diagnosed with chronic pain or developing an injury is to become sedentary. Becoming sedentary weakens the surrounding support structures, which leads to instability and more pain. My suggestion is if one type of exercise causes you pain find another activity that doesn’t! For example if running begins to cause you pain try another form of cardio like aquatic training or bike riding. Pain conditions might force you to change your exercise program but it should never cause you to avoid activity all together. My next suggestion if experiencing pain is to add weight training to your exercise program. Weight training can restore your muscle balance to allow you to be pain free. Lastly cross training can help prevent overuse injuries and muscle imbalances, so using the elliptical or the bike in addition to your normal running schedule can help prevent pain. However you choose to prevent or combat musculoskeletal pain it has to keep you active. A sedentary lifestyle only makes the pain worse and causes lasting negative effects to your body.