"Staying active and starting new routines can lead to all kinds of sensations in our body. We might feel stronger, increased muscle tone, and greater joint mobility. On the other hand, we might feel soreness, pain, and tension.
Should you stop moving to let the pain, discomfort, or soreness subside?
Any good movement practice should include active recovery. Active recovery means moving gently and intentionally to restore balance around joints and support circulation. This could mean a gentle walk, a gentle chair stretching routine, a mobility and stability session, or restorative pilates or yoga.
And if you experience chronic pain? The same advice applies Keep moving, gently!
Chronic pain can be complex in nature and when it is rooted in past trauma, injuries, or illness you often need to take a collaborative approach. Build a support system that includes visits with your primary care physician or naturopath, finding out dietary and nutritional needs, working with a mental health professional, and/or with someone to guide you in movement.
If you want to learn more about your pain - consider the 3 main types of pain and how you can best support your body through that pain:
Pain in your Tendons:
You"ll know your pain is in your tendons if the pain is closer to where a muscle attaches to a bone and not in the belly of the muscles. To alleviate, focus on slow, gentle movements such as rocking, swinging, or traction.
For example, if you have pain in the tendons around the elbow you could try one of these gentle movements:
Swinging the arm forward and back
Gentle rotations of the wrist as you move the elbow and shoulder
Having someone pull on your hand or wrist to slowly traction the elbow
2. Pain in your Nerves:
Pain in your nerves can feel achy, or throbbing, bringing on tingles and numbness. Because nerves, arteries and blood vessels run together you might also feel changes in temperature. To address nerve pain, focus on joint movements in a range that does not increase any irritating symptoms. Nerve glides, neural manipulation, soft tissue cupping, or sometimes contrast (hot/cold) treatments can help to release the muscles around the nerve. These practices can be done on your own or with the help of a bodywork professional.
For example, if you have nerve pain in the sciatic nerve, you could try one of these gentle movements:
Sciatic Nerve Glide
Gentle roll out of hips
3. Sweeping Pain:
You"ll know you have sweeping pain when you go to describe the pain and your hand sweeps the area. This sweeping pain can often refer to the timing or firing of opposing muscle groups that do opposite actions around a joint. To alleviate, focus on full body mobilization, strengthening, and activation of the muscles around the painful area.
For example, if you have pain in the side of your hip and thigh you could try one of these gentle movements:
Pin and Activate: Use a foam roller or massage ball, pin a muscle and activate the opposite muscle
Glute Activation with Fire Hydrants and Donkey Kicks
Standing Wide Leg Glides to a Side Lean
A final note - remember, every experience with our body is a chance to experiment and grow.
Try a given pain relief tactic for a week or two and notice if you feel any relief, even just slight. Instead of dreading and resenting your pain, try to look at these trials as opportunities to learn about yourself, connect with your body, and live in the present moment. And remember you are never on this journey alone!"
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