Visiting an exercise physiologist for chronic pain

09 June 2023

Mates4Mates exercise physiologists are here to provide clinical exercise interventions for veterans and family members with a broad range of health conditions, including chronic pain.

While chronic pain is common in veterans due to the lasting effects of injuries that may have occurred in the military, there is an unknown paradox that exists around pain management and exercise.  

Many people with pain fear exercise as they worry it could cause an exacerbation of their pain or injury. Contrary to this popular belief, exercising when we have pain helps to alleviate the pain if we do it correctly and with the right guidance.  

For example, if we have joint pain, the best way to reduce the pain is to increase the strength of the muscles around that joint as this will provide more overall strength and support.  

It’s important to remember that exercise not only reduces the severity of chronic pain, but also contributes to the general benefits associated with improved overall physical and mental health. 

How an exercise physiologist can support you 

When making the decision to seek support from an exercise physiologist to manage your chronic pain or another health condition while experiencing pain, you will first be stepped through an initial consultation. 

Your exercise physiologist will sit down with you and discuss your goals and your current conditions. If pain is a big factor, your exercise physiologist may spend a bit of time helping you understand how to best tackle it and find ways to reduce it together.  

The key strategies an exercise physiologist will explore with you are education, movement, mobility, activation and strength. Education is at the forefront of treatment for chronic pain to establish a foundation for understanding how to manage your pain first before undertaking any exercises. 

Once you have a good grasp of those five strategies, you will feel more confident to self-manage your exercise prescription and move through life with less pain and more function. 

From there, your exercise physiologist will provide you with an individualised program that you can do in your own time, and you can even book in for ongoing appointments for structured guidance.  

Support at Mates4Mates 

Exercise physiologists are trained in understanding and managing chronic pain and can assist with developing programs to suit the individual’s needs. The team at Mates4Mates is here to provide you with a safe environment to engage in exercise.  

Veterans and their families can access to one-on-one sessions with a Mates4Mates exercise physiologist, with small group sessions also available.  

To find out more, reach out to Mates4Mates on 1300 4 MATES (62 837) for a confidential chat with an exercise physiologist. 

Written by Harley Fox, Mates4Mates Exercise Physiologist 

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