Increasing Exercise to Reduce Pain

Increasing Exercise to Reduce Pain

Often, with back or joint pain the thought of increasing or doing any physical activity sounds torturous. However, recent studies show that people who exercise and stay flexible manage their pain much better than those who don’t.

The America Heart Association, Center for Disease Control and many other health organizations recommend 2.5 hours of moderate to intense exercise/activity every week. That breaks down to about 20-30 minutes each day.

Believe it or not…

Exercise can improve your pain! According to Trent Nessler, founder and CEO of Accelerated Conditioning and Learning,  “With chronic pain, your pain threshold drops. In other words, it takes less pain to make you feel more uncomfortable. With cardiovascular, strengthening and flexibility exercises, it is possible to improve and increase that pain threshold.” Nessler says if your pain threshold increases, you will be able to improve your flexibility and get back to a life without pain.

Safely start reducing your pain with these exercises

  • Lie on your back on a carpeted floor or mat. Rest your legs on a couch, chair or ottoman, so that your legs from the heels to the back of your knees are completely supported. This puts you in the same position as sitting in a chair, only now the pressure on your back is displaced.
    • Tip: Place an ice pack underneath your back if you feel pain while doing this.
  • Using a stability ball, lie face down on the ball and let your body mold to the sides of the ball.
  • Lie on your back and pull your knees to your chest. This is called the “happy baby” pose. If this feels okay, try rocking back-and-forth and side-to-side to message your back muscles.
  • Try walking on a treadmill or elliptical machine if you have access to a gym. You can also use a stationary bike (one that supports your back) as another way to exercise.
  • Walk to and from your mailbox if you don’t have access to a gym. Making an extra trip everyday will slowly help you to increase your stamina.


Additional advice

  • Always seek advice from your doctor, physical therapist or trainer before starting any new diet or exercise regimen. They know your current level of pain and can customize a workout plan based on your physical condition.
  • If any exercises increase your pain, STOP immediately.
  • Always ice any painful areas before and after exercising or stretching. Ice helps to reduce inflammation, the cause of a lot of increased pain with exercise.
  • The more sitting around you do, the worse your pain will become due to inactivity and stiffness.


Remember, STOP IMMEDIATELY if an exercise worsens your pain. ALWAYS seek advice from your doctor, physical therapist or trainer before starting a new exercise regimen.


The Pain Management Group_AdvancedHEALTHFor more information on The Pain Management Group, please visit or schedule an appointment at one of our locations throughout Middle Tennessee.

We are committed to providing individualized care and vow to treat each patient with compassion and respect, never turning anyone away. Our physicians are fellowship-trained pain specialists who utilize a combination of interventional procedures and medication management services to tailor a personalized care plan for each patient’s long-term pain relief.