Is chronic pain or an injury putting a cramp in daily life?

Try these relief methods offered by local wellness experts:

“Meditation can help foster a mindful, rather than automatic or reactive response to chronic pain. Mindfulness builds awareness of the differences between pain sensations itself (i.e., sharp, shooting, stabbing) versus patterns of unhelpful reactions to pain such as emotional reactions or patterns of behavior. It disrupts the autopilot way of responding that isn’t effective and often causes additional suffering by giving us greater freedom to make healthier choices. Since difficult situations and painful stressors will always be a part of life, mindfully learning how to handle them can make all the difference.”

Shilagh A. Mirgain, UW Health Senior Psychologist

“Too many people focus primarily on feeling ‘crushed’ after a workout and do the most amount of exercise possible to make themselves tired, sweaty and sore. Unfortunately, these aren’t indicators of a good session. To drive progress (i.e. strength development or fat loss) while avoiding injury, start small and focus on doing a little more, a little better each time in the gym. If pain comes on, evaluate whether it’s true pain or just soreness—and if it continues post-workout, you should consult a licensed medical professional. It’s always wise to address the issue right away before it becomes a bigger problem.”

Luke Briggs, Competitive Bodybuilder and Strength Coach

“No one likes being injured or held back, especially people who are normally very active. It’s important to remember that something is always better than nothing, But overdoing it will only set you back further. If you’re a runner who is itching to get back at it, going for a simple walk is often underrated. So be open to going on longer walks, gradually easing back into running a few minutes at a time. Or if recovering from a lower body injury, focus on upper body strength workouts, which will still elevate your heart rate and burn calories. Once your doctor gives you the go ahead, it should be fine to restart fave workouts—provided that you’re tuned into what your body is telling you. Listening to your body is the key to recovery.”

Jenny DeMain, Cyc Madison Studio Director

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