Tampa Bay, FL (PRWEB) February 10, 2014 - Exercise has proven to be nearly as effective as medicine in treating pain, prompting questions about whether the health care system is placing too much emphasis on medication and failing to exploring physical activity as a form of treatment. (1) Pat Merl had suffered with chronic pain in her heel prior to her move to Florida in May 2012. After pursuing medicinal remedies to no avail, Merl sought the help of elements® fitness club in Seminole, FL. Pat’s motivation for seeking out elements® was to alleviate the chronic pain symptoms after encouragement from a therapist. Through regular attendance of elements® water aerobics classes, elements® eliminated Merl's symptoms altogether, allowing her to live pain-free.
Chronic pain, defined by the American Academy of Pain Medicine as a longitudinal experience of pain signals fired through the nervous system, affects more than 1.5 billion people in the world (2).The pain may be lingering after experiencing an injury, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain from conditions such as arthritis, or cancer. However, in some documented cases, some people can suffer chronic pain even in the absence of any past injuries, or damage to the body – a fact that Merl experienced firsthand.
"In early 2010, I started to experience a burning pain in the back of my right heel," Merl explained. "By early 2011, I developed this problem in both feet and a large bump began forming on the back of each heel. Eventually, the pain got so bad that I could no longer wear shoes with backs on them. I also had trouble standing and had to begin walking very slowly and carefully, because the pain was becoming unbearable."
Merl sought the help of three doctors for answers to her problem, but the only assistance doctors were able to provide was medicinal, which had little effect. Merl’s left ankle began to swell considerably, to a point beyond just discomfort – the problem was preventing her from going about her day to day life at ease.
Merl found a therapist upon her move to Florida, and sought out more help for her problem.
"The therapist said I needed to come for a bit more therapy and do some stretching exercises. I asked him if my feet would ever get better again and he said the best I could expect was to be able to manage the pain."
Merl became desperate to alleviate her pain, and after some encouragement from her husband, sought the help of elements® and its variety of group fitness classes. She decided to attend a water aerobics class and with the help and reassurance from her instructors, she became hooked and started attending classes every day. Now, only four and a half months later, Merl is walking pain free.
Water-based exercise has been proven to help people with chronic pain diseases, such as arthritis, by improving the use of affected joints without worsening symptoms. Water-based exercise also improves mental health, decreases anxiety and depression, allows individuals to exercise longer without increased effort or joint and muscle pain (3).
"Amazingly, there are the other benefits that I didn’t even think about, at the time. I am now much happier and upbeat and [in addition to] losing 15 pounds, I have also learned to swim," Merl added.
Merl continues to attend elements’ fitness classes, finding it difficult to make a day go by without attending a class. elements® Seminole General Manager Danielle Cooper said Merl’s success story embodies the company’s mission.
"Our main goal is helping our clients live the uninhibited life they desire by improving their overall health," said Cooper. "We offer classes that are not only enjoyable and challenging, but also beneficial to their physical wellbeing."
Miami-based elements® fitness is the only full-service health club brand for women nationally. That designation allows the brand to focus on popular signature amenities which include dynamic classes, highly-trained lifestyle consultants and small group workouts. elements® also offers customized membership plans that can be developed and tailored for individuals seeking exercise as an alternative to medicine. These options include, but are not limited to, specialized and supervised therapy, a variety of personal training modalities (stretching, fitness, pain management, anti-aging, speed, weight loss, sculpting, and/or endurance), and weight loss coaching.
elements® fitness is a premium lifestyle brand for women offering membership-based fitness and weight loss services through a network of contemporary, boutique-style health clubs. Founded in 2004, elements® differs from other health club providers in its "balanced lifestyle" approach to a healthy lifestyle, which includes three components: body, beauty, and mind. The company maintains proprietary design and brand trademarks, as well as proprietary operating, marketing, and software systems – available under a geography-based franchise agreement to qualified investors. In addition, the company maintains several important digital platforms, including an online "web club", a full-scale online monthly magazine, elements® living online consumer guides, central owners’ intranet, and digital club support platforms. elements® has a growing network of locations across the U.S. and internationally, including California, Massachusetts, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, North Dakota, Canada and the Middle East. elements® maintains its corporate offices in Miami’s South Beach and also has plans to open additional international locations in Latin America. Visit http://www.elementsforwomen.com and http://www.elementsseminole.com.
1. blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/11/exercise-as-potent-medicine/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1 Web. Jan. 23, 2014
2. painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx Web. Jan. 23, 2014
3. "Health Benefits of Water-based Exercise." Cdc.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 06 Mar. 2013. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.
Karla Jo Helms
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