The key to staying active with chronic pain and avoiding further injury is low impact activity. I am guilty of engaging in high impact activity, as my sports are skiing and Taekwondo. My doctors absolutely HATE that I ski and do Taekwondo because of the heighten risk for injury. My joints are more susceptible to injury because of my joint hypermobility syndrome. A simple ankle sprain can have serious consequences, like surgery or a weeklong hospital stay. No fun. At the same time, I know that there are pain management doctors that are begging their patients to even move. I guess I just need to find the happy medium when the time comes.
Cycling- Cycling is great exercise to get the heart pumping and the blood moving (which is essential for the management of CRPS). It is also very low impact which doctors love and it can be done indoors or out!
Walking- No explanation needed. You can easily control the intensity of your workout and it can be done indoors and outdoors. Nothing better on a warm summer’s evening!
Swimming- Swimming is great cardio and awesome exercise because you feel weightless. Water walking is a perfect place to start if you can’t fully bear weight. If skin hypersensitivity is an issue, water is a potent desensitizer; perfect for getting that desensitization in!
Yoga- Yoga is an awesome way to relax and center yourself while stretching your muscles, improving balance, and building up strength. It also helps to improve the range of motion in your joints which is great if you are stiff.
PT/OT- This is usually the starting point for people with chronic pain. With the help of a specialist, we can safely find out what kinds of activities we are capable of doing and how to stay safe while doing them.
Tai Chi- Tai Chi is a slow, relaxed martial art that focuses on breathing and gentle movements.
Strength Training- Building up muscle is a great way to strengthen your entire body and stabilize joints, which helps reduce the chances of a severe injury.