Thankfully, there are many different ways to treat musculoskeletal conditions, including rest, strength training, mobility work, mind/body awareness, and manual therapy. Of course, what option is best for you will depend on advice from a medical professional.
Through empowering yourself with knowledge about the options available, however, your likelihood of overcoming a musculoskeletal condition greatly improves. Keep reading to learn about each of these effective pathways for getting out of pain.
Pain that flares up during or after exercise can often be put down to mechanical stress. Therefore, rest is usually the first choice for treatment. While this sounds simple enough, many people find it extremely difficult to put into practice – particularly if they’re a professional athlete.
If resting altogether is simply not possible for you, then consider lightening your load instead. This may require professional assistance, but in general, you should avoid overtraining. Instead, work on optimizing your recovery time by doing less of, or simply avoiding, what triggers your pain in the first place.
- Strength Training
People don’t often think of strength training as a solution to their aches and pains, but it’s highly effective for many musculoskeletal conditions. To assist with neck pain, for example, studies show strengthening the neck muscles works as well or better than other therapies.
The key here is that you want to strengthen the muscles around the painful area, in a way that doesn’t aggravate the pain. An effective treatment is isometric exercise, which works your muscles without moving – for example, when you push as hard as possible against a wall.
- Mobility Work
Increasing your comfortable and functional range of motion is another effective pathway for overcoming musculoskeletal pain – particularly if you have a restricted range of motion or stiffness in your joints near an area of pain. Stretching may cause instant feelings of relaxation and reduced pain sensitivity, for example. There are a number of ways to incorporate mobility work into your daily life, including:
- Flexibility training (PNF)
- Warm up and joint mobility exercises
- Mind and Body Awareness
Methods that incorporate the mind and body can also be effective for pain management, particularly when pain is chronic or correlates with other perceptual disturbances. In this case, health professionals may prescribe any of the following treatments to improve mind and body awareness:
- Tai chi
- Feldenkrais Method
Though helpful, it’s important to realize not all pain is “in your head”. More often than not, genuine musculoskeletal injuries or issues are at play, which can be accurately diagnosed by a medical professional.
- Manual Therapy
Manual therapy – such as manipulation with massage balls or chiropractic procedures – is what we refer to as passive, rather than active, treatment. It’s more likely to modulate the nervous system’s sensitivity to pain, rather than fix the physical and underlying musculoskeletal issues. However, that’s not to say it can’t offer effective pain management and greater quality of life. When used in combination with pathways which treat the actual injury at hand (such as rest, strength training or mobility work), manual therapy can offer people with a more holistic remedy to their ongoing pain.
If you’re looking for fitness, yoga, or self-massage equipment to help you pursue any of these pathways out of pain, check out our full range of products today.