Staying Active When in Chronic Pain

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Thank you Biofreeze® for sponsoring this post. Biofreeze® is also available for purchase in retail. Click here to find a store near you.

While I was pregnant with Lydia {so, about 8.5 years ago} Richard began experiencing chronic pain, specifically in his left shoulder and throughout his left side. He visited every single specialist attempting to get a diagnosis… sports medicine doctor, neurologist, chiropractor, orthopedist, infectious disease doctor, rheumatologist, and a few trips to the emergency room. Unfortunately, with every blood test, MRI, and x-ray, nobody could really provide him with any information regarding the nature of his chronic pain. As a result, he finds ways to manage it himself while still maintaining an active lifestyle. Here are some tips for exercising and enjoying day-to-day life when you live with pain, including using Biofreeze® to help with pain relief.

Low-impact Cardio

Cardio can be divided into no/low-impact and high-impact. High-impact cardio would include activities that are harder on your joints, like running, jumping, and climbing stairs. These are best to avoid or engage in minimally when you experience chronic pain. No/low-impact cardio would include activities that impact your joints minimally, like an exercise bike or swimming in a pool. The primary goal of cardio is to increase your heart rate, so check your heart rate whenever possible while engaging in cardio activities, and as long as it is within your targeted zone, you’re exercising effectively. You can do a quick internet search to find a heart rate calculator to determine your targeted range.

Lift Lighter Weights

This part gets frustrating for Richard. While he knows he can lift much heavier weights {make more “gains”}, that adds to the wear/tear on his muscles and potentially increased pain. Instead, he selects weights that are lighter and increases the number of repetitions. Because chronic pain can fluctuate from day-to-day, there are times when he can lift a little more and times when he needs to be more cautious. It’s important to really assess how you feel in that moment, and also keep in mind how previous workouts made you feel, so that you can challenge yourself without pushing too hard.

Walk/Hike Outdoors

A great way to stay active without contributing to chronic pain is to take a leisurely walk or hike through a nature park. Living in Gainesville, we are surrounded by lush wooded areas. Walking/hiking allows us to spend time with our children, explore new parts of our community, and keep our bodies moving. You can make it fun by bringing along a camera to take nature pictures or printing out a scavenger hunt to locate different items as you walk. The best part about taking a walk/hike is that you can rest when needed and turn back around if your body begins to ache.
Enjoy Seasonal Activities

Depending upon where you live and time of the year, you can engage in so many fun seasonal activities. If you suffer from chronic pain, select activities that will allow you to move without pushing yourself too much. In the fall, some activities include apple picking {we visited North Georgia last weekend to do this}, visiting a pumpkin patch, checking out a corn maze, or even wandering through an awesome farmer’s market. The key is just to be aware of what your body is feeling and pace yourself.

Biofreeze® for Muscle Aches

Even when Richard is mindful of what his body is experiencing and staying active while being cautious, he experiences pain and discomfort. For those times when he needs some extra relief, Biofreeze® is a great option. Biofreeze® provides pain relief so he can return to being active. Biofreeze® Pain Reliever products work like ice for treating pain, but without the drippy bag or ice pack. They are convenient for on-the-go, so you can pack them in your gym or travel bag.

Previously only available for purchase through healthcare professionals, Biofreeze® is now available in stores near you! Check out all three products {Biofreeze® Pain Relief Gel, Biofreeze® Pain Relief Roll-On, and Biofreeze® Pain Relief 360 Spray} to find what works best for your body. Richard likes the roll-on after a workout at the gym because it’s easy for him to apply himself. The gel is perfect if you have a partner who can give you a massage at home. And the spray is a great way to quickly apply Biofreeze® while on the go.

How do you manage pain while remaining active?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia {age 8} and Bryce {age 6}. Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.

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