Hello all. As the weather perks up here and there, I wanted to give a shout out to short walks outside. As providers working with patients in pain, we often recommend exercise, physical therapy and movement as treatments. If you’re like me, the term “exercise” can bring up a host of associations, often negative. This is particularly true for those of us who have had doctors who have told us that if we would lose weight we’d feel better. (News Flash: people of all sizes have body pain, and doctors who blame your health conditions on your weight are using outdated information and are indulging in some fatphobia)
Movement of any kind is great medicine for most people, especially people with pain, and/or depression, and does not have to be something strenuous or complicated. Something as simple as a 20 minute walk daily can help rewire the nerves that are keeping those pain signals at a constant level, as well as manage stress. Walking as treatment for musculoskeletal complaints can improve both pain and function for up to a year. You don’t need a fit-bit, or a walking app, a step counter- it does not have to be a chore. Give yourself permission to take a walk when the weather is nice and take in the springtime, walk for as long as you feel safe and comfortable and don’t be afraid to take it as slow as you need to.