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Pain Toolkit

20 WWW.CHANGE-PAIN.COM The Pain Toolkit Tool 8 - Stretching & Exercise Many people with pain fear exercise in case it causes more problems. However this is not true. Regular stretching and exercising actually decreases pain and discomfort. It prepares the body for other activities. It can strengthen weak muscles and you will also feel better for it. Remem- ber to start slowly and build up or increase your stretching and exercising. It is not as hard as you think. If you are in pain, remember that unfit and under used muscles feel more pain than toned ones. Talk with your physiotherapist or fitness coach about an individually tailored stretching and exercise pro- gramme that you can work on steadily and safely. This will help you build your confidence, muscle and joint strength. Remember that swimming (or just walking up and down in the pool) is also a low im- pact exercise and is good for you if you have joint problems. There are 15 good reasons why exercise is good for you on page 35.