You’ve probably heard the old expression “Use it or lose it.” Well, it can also relate to more than just skill and knowledge, as the same can be said about your body. For many people who are in pain, getting up and being physically active can be difficult. But the alternative – inactivity – can be even more detrimental to your health.
Physical activity is critical to your overall health, especially things like your musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, and nervous system. And when you don’t get enough activity, you are at risk for a condition known as disuse syndrome.
What is disuse syndrome? Who gets it?
Disuse syndrome, a term coined in the 1980s, is a term for the physical decline and other problems that arise when the human body is deprived of physical activity. Whether it’s due to a general lack of exercise, a job that forces you to sit for long periods of time, or illness and pain that forces you to rest for prolonged periods, many people are at risk for developing disuse syndrome.
And in addition to the obvious problems that result from not getting enough exercise and stimulation, such as weight gain and muscle atrophy, studies show that people who remain sedentary are also at risk of developing issues such as cardiovascular problems such as low blood oxygen levels, increased blood pressure, and an reduces levels of blood plasma.
In some cases, disuse syndrome can even lead to nervous system changes, including slower mental processing (slow thinking), difficulty memory and concentration – even depression and anxiety.
What can you do to improve the condition and your health?
So, if you are suffering from disuse syndrome, you may be wondering what you can do about it. It can be difficult for some people to find the time and motivation to get moving. And for those with chronic pain, it may seem like the last thing that would help. The good news is that starting with small lifestyle changes is often enough to get you feeling better. And when you start feeling better, you can build on these lifestyle changes and incorporate more if you want to further improve your health and reduce pain.
Some simple things you can start doing to get the benefits of increased physical activity include things like:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator if you’re going up one or two stories
- Taking short walks on breaks or when you need to speak to coworkers or family members
- Walking to nearby places when you need to run errands
- Walking around the office or home when you’re on the phone
- Meeting with friends and family for physical activities, such as bike riding or walking, instead of dinner or a happy hour
- Simple stretches
- Doing push-ups, lunges, and squats during television commercial breaks
- If you have a dog, taking them on short walks is great – and they’ll love you for it!
Quantum Pain and Sports Medicine can help
If you’re experiencing back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain or any other kind of acute musculoskeletal pain that could be the result of not getting enough physical activity, the experts at Quantum Pain and Sports Medicine can help.
We are not just experts at diagnosing and treating pain, we are your source for holistic pain management, offering diet and nutrition plans, exercise and physical therapy plans and more to get you started on the path to wellness today.
Call 469.913.6136 or contact us to learn more.