Working Out Chronic Pain
Many people suffer from chronic pain, due to a variety of factors, including injury, congenital problems, or illness. When you’re experiencing pain, it can be very difficult to motivate yourself to get some exercise, and to opt for a good rest instead. Research shows, however, that you are probably doing yourself a disservice - and even more so if you are an older adult.
A study performed on 51 adults between the ages of 60 and 77 tested these individuals’ activity levels and compared them to their chronic pain levels, and came up with a few very interesting conclusions that fly in the face of the perceived wisdom that says you should rest as much as possible.
The study showed that older adults who engage in moderate to vigorous activity have a significantly reduced response to pain stimuli, meaning that they felt less pain when exposed to pain stimuli than they would experience if they did not engage in exercise. The study also showed that older people who engage in light physical activity, and spend less time being sedentary, show improved pain inhibition responses, which means that they feel pain less.
While this particular study was performed specifically on older adults to measure their responses, the results echo several similar studies performed on young people, as well as varied age groups. This effectively shows that, no matter what your age, physical activity is an important component to chronic pain management and prevention.
Of course, it is important to ensure that the type of physical activity you participate in doesn’t put you at risk of further injury or greater pain, and that it is helping you improve your health. If you do suffer from chronic pain, make sure you always speak to your physiotherapist to get