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Find Freedom from Pain Using the Healing Power of Movement

How to overcome your fear of pain and embrace an active lifestyle

Pain is an all-too-familiar companion in the lives of many of us. Whether it's the sharp twinge of a sore back, the persistent ache of joint discomfort, or the throb of a headache that just won't quit, pain can have a profound impact on our physical and mental well-being.

But is the fear of pain holding you back from leading a healthy and active lifestyle? Whether that's the fear of injury, the discomfort of sore muscles, or the worry of pushing your physical limits, fear can restrict your ability to do the very things that can help relieve your pain.

It's crucial to recognise that these fears can be overcome, allowing you to embrace the numerous physical and mental benefits that movement and exercise provide. I don’t mean running a marathon a week or swimming the channel – although those are both great goals! Just by adopting a gentle and regular exercise regime you can make a world of difference to your pain levels, and it’s nothing to fear.

Understanding the fear of pain

Identifying the root cause of your fears will go a long way towards helping you overcome them. Do any of these resonate with you?

Past trauma: One of the primary reasons behind the fear of pain is past traumatic experiences. Whether it's a sports injury, an accident, or a painful exercise session, these experiences can leave emotional scars that make us wary of repeating them.

Fear of the unknown: Stepping into the unknown can be intimidating. When you're not sure what to expect during exercise or how your body will respond, fear can take over.

“No pain no gain”: The exercise crazes from the 1980s have a lot to answer for! Many people still associate exercise with pain, discomfort, and exhaustion. This negative perception can make the thought of exercise itself a source of anxiety.

Lack of confidence: Low self-esteem and self-doubt can contribute to the fear of pain. Believing that you can't handle discomfort or that you're not capable of physical activity can be paralysing.

Movement is medicine: How movement alleviates pain

Before we delve into the role of movement, it's important to understand pain. Pain is your body's way of signalling that something is amiss. It can be acute, resulting from an injury or illness, or chronic, persisting for an extended period. Chronic pain, in particular, can lead to physical limitations, emotional distress, and a reduced ability to enjoy life.

While it may be tempting to avoid movement and exercise to avoid further damage, here are some of the reasons why it could be beneficial for you:

Release of endorphins: When you engage in physical activity, your brain releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers. These endorphins not only reduce pain but also create a sense of well-being and happiness.

Improved blood circulation: Movement increases blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients to injured or inflamed areas. This helps in the repair and healing process, reducing pain in the long run.

Strengthening muscles: Weak muscles can contribute to pain and discomfort. Exercise and movement help strengthen muscles, providing better support for joints and alleviating pain associated with conditions like arthritis.

Enhanced flexibility: Stretching and movement routines can improve joint flexibility, reducing stiffness and pain associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis.

Stress reduction: Chronic pain is often intertwined with stress and anxiety. Regular physical activity can reduce stress hormones in the body, helping to manage pain more effectively.

Distraction: Engaging in enjoyable physical activities can provide a distraction from pain. Focusing on the activity can shift your attention away from discomfort, providing temporary relief.

How Mobility Therapies can help you

I believe that the fear of pain should not be a barrier on your journey to a healthier and more active life. I’m a Pain Free Movement Specialist and I work with many people for whom the thought of any kind of exercise makes them break out into a cold sweat! I’ve learned that everyone’s pain is different, and many people come to me with some apprehension as to what to expect.

The first thing I do is conduct a full body assessment which shows me how “in balance” your body is right now. Then we work out a gentle but progressive exercise programme that’s tailored to your abilities and goals. We’ll assess your current pain or discomfort levels and address any fears or nervousness you may have about taking on a regular exercise regime.

Pain doesn't have to be an insurmountable obstacle in your life. By confronting your fear of pain, you'll not only improve your physical health but also enhance your mental resilience and confidence.

If you’d like to know more about my mobility therapy services, please get in touch.

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