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Importance of Exercise for Musculoskeletal Pain

Importance of Exercise for Musculoskeletal Pain

What is Musculoskeletal Pain?

In order to understand what musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is, we first need to know about the few components that make up your Musculoskeletal system: bones, muscles, ligaments and joints.


A joint is the part of the body where two bones meet to allow movement. Within the joint, there are firm cushions called cartilage that covers the end of the two bones and it helps to absorb shock and allows smooth gliding movement between the two bones. Around the joint, there is a tough capsule what wrapped around the joint and it’s filled with synovial fluid. This fluid lubricates the cartilage and other structures in the joint and keep everything nice and smooth.

Ligaments & Tendons

A ligament is a tough, flexible fibrous connective tissue which attaches bone to bone, and usually serves to hold structures together and keep them stable. A tendon is a flexible but inelastic cord of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching a muscle to a bone. As your muscle contracts, the tendon will pull on the bone and move the joint.

Musculoskeletal pain refer to conditions that affect the normal function of the joints, muscles, bones and surrounding structures and results in symptoms such as pain, stiffness and inflammation in one or more joints or muscles.

Benefits of exercise

There are tons of benefits from exercising regularly for people with Musculoskeletal conditions. Here is a brief list of benefits that you can get from exercising:

  • Aid joint lubrication and nourishment
  • Ease your joint pain and stiffness
  • Improve flexibility
  • Build muscular strength
  • Improve your balance
  • Help you sleep better
  • Improve or maintain the density of your bones
  • Improve posture
  • Improve overall health and fitness
  • Lower stress levels
  • Improve your mood
  • Help you maintain a healthy body weight

As you can see, exercise provide significant amount of benefits to your physical and mental health. It not only reduce your joint pain, it also slows down any deconditioning of the body and allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do note that the list of benefits is mainly focus on MSK, there are plenty more benefits for other systems of your body such as cardiovascular and cognitive function.

What Type of Exercise Should I Do and for How Long?

There are many different type of exercises that you can choose from, however, according to Musculoskeletal Australia, the best exercise for you should be something you enjoy doing and you are committed to doing it regularly. Based on a study conducted by Slade and others (2014), when exercise seems to be ineffective or too difficult, people tend to discontinue the exercise with reasoned decision, people are more likely to engage in exercises or training programs or activities that put their preference, circumstances, fitness levels and exercise experiences into consideration.

Some exercises that can help with strength, overall fitness and flexibility as the same time includes:

  • Swimming or water exercise classes
  • Tai chi
  • Walking
  • Chair exercises
  • Low-impact aerobics
  • Strength training
  • Core strengthening
  • Pilates

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), it is recommended for adults (18-64 years) to engage in at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or at least 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Aerobic activity refers to anything that gets your heart beating faster such as cycling, swimming or jogging. Furthermore, it is recommended to perform muscle-strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these provide additional health benefits.

However, if you are not sure which exercise is best suited for your condition, please do not hesitate to consult a health professional or fitness trainer.

We are here to Benefit you!

Sometimes, exercising can be challenging when you are in too much pain. An inflamed and painful joint needs some rest, but too much rest will result in muscle weakness, pain and stiffness. Therefore, it is important for you to find the right balance between rest and exercise. If you are not sure what is the right balance for you or you need some assistance with managing the pain, our experienced chiropractors here at Lakeside Chiropractic can definitely give you advice.

Lakeside chiropractic is located in Joondalup in Perth’s north and has visitors from many different suburbs including, Padbury, Kinross, Mindarie, Sorrento, Iluka, Carramar, Currambine, Tapping, Pearsall, Hocking and Woodvale. HICAPS Facilities available on site for major private health insurers (NIB, HCF, HBF, AHM, HCI and HIF) and also a part of the Medibank preferred practitioner and BUPA Members first network. If you would like to discuss any concerns, have any enquires or wish to book an appointment; feel free to contact one of our friendly staff on 9300 0095 or visit our website at

May 03, 2021