Hi - welcome to our Team. It sounds to me like you could be suffering from depression, too, and that isn't uncommon when there are chronic health issues including pain.
I would suggest that before you start doing any exercises, talk to you Dr to see what you can do and what is best left alone. Also, ask for a referral to a Physiotherapist so that you can be assessed by a health professional who specializes in this sort of thing. They will give you the appropriate exercises and ensure that you are safe doing them. I suggest Pilates - BUT taken by a qualified Pilates Instructor who is also a qualified Physiotherapist. My one has been invaluable - she has seen my x-rays re Arthritis of the spine/hip and Scoliosis of the spine. Because she has qualified knowledge she is able to steer me away from the exercises that can do harm and give me an alternative to do. Pilates actually focuses on the core muscles, but also includes all other exercises. It helps with our posture, our breathing, and after a while even gives the impression of having lost weight, even if we haven't :-)
I suggest that you DON'T do the exercises that we get in DVD format and in books because we don't know if we are doing them properly. My Instructor often has to adjust our positions - sometimes by as little as 1 inch, and that can make the difference between doing good and doing harm.
UNTIL you have been properly assessed re exercises, I would only suggest gentle walking and perhaps pool therapy - i.e. walking in a pool burns heaps of calories and helps strengthen muscles because you are pushing through water which is obviously much more dense than air!
Where it comes to what I suspect is depression, talk with your Dr about what is going on and if need be, ask for a referral to a Therapist. They can actually be helpful with pain relief, too, because the relaxation techniques that they can teach us helps us to reduce the stress in our body. We often tense our muscles without even realizing this, and it can cause severe pain as a result.
Good luck and keep in touch.
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