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The Power of Movement: Alleviating Pain Based on Latest Research

Updated: Oct 9, 2023


Introduction:

Pain, whether acute or chronic, can be debilitating and impactful on our daily lives. While traditional approaches like medications and therapies are commonly used, current research suggests that incorporating movement into pain management strategies can lead to significant improvements in pain relief and overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the latest scientific research that supports the notion that movement is an effective tool for alleviating pain.


1. Enhancing Internal Pain Control:

One of the fundamental ways movement helps alleviate pain is by enhancing the body's natural pain control systems. The latest research highlights how physical activity and exercise promote the release of hormones, which act as natural painkillers in the body, resulting in an improved pain threshold and reduced perception of pain. [1]


2. Reducing Inflammation:

Inflammation is often a root cause of pain. Various studies have shown that movement can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory proteins and enhance the secretion of anti-inflammatory proteins [2] For instance, research indicates that regular physical activity decreases the levels of inflammatory markers [3] and by reducing inflammation, movement can effectively alleviate pain associated with conditions like arthritis or musculoskeletal disorders.



3. Neuroplasticity and Pain Perception:

Neuroplasticity is the term used to express brain’s ability to adapt and change based on your unique individual experiences. Research on neuroplasticity has revealed its crucial role in pain perception. Engaging in movement and exercise has been found to positively influence changes in the brain, altering pain perception and diminishing the intensity of pain, with one study demonstrating that aerobic exercise can lead to decreased pain sensitivity and improved pain management. [4]


4. Psychological Factors:

Pain is not solely determined by physical factors, as psychological and emotional factors also play a significant role in the perception of pain intensity. Regular movement has been shown to improve mental health and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression [5]. These positive psychological outcomes contribute to an overall reduction in pain experiences and allow individuals to better cope with chronic pain conditions.


5. Specific Movement Approaches:

While incorporating any form of physical activity can be beneficial, certain movement approaches have shown improve in pain releif. For instance, a review of the effects yoga demonstrated that with its emphasis on mindfulness, stretching, and strengthening, can effectively decrease pain and improve functional outcomes in individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain [6]. Furthermore, studies have also indicated that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can reduce pain levels and enhance quality of life in individuals with chronic pain conditions [7].



Conclusion:

The latest research supports the idea that movement is a powerful tool for alleviating pain. By enhancing internal pain control, reducing inflammation, influence changes in the brains interpretation, addressing psychological factors, and emphasizing specific movement approaches, individuals can experience significant pain relief and improved overall well-being. Incorporating regular, effective movement into your recovery pain provides a holistic approach to your battle with pain. Our programs for pain are built around all of the above concepts, with a step by step approach which ensures you’re doing the movements at the right time. Your body can heal itself, and we can show you how.



References:

1. Kontinen, V. K., Dickenson, A. H., & Melchior, M. (2020). Exercise and chronic pain: where and when? Comprehensive Physiology, 10(1), 1-34.

2. Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 8(3), 201-217.

3. Doran, D. A., et al. (2019). C-reactive protein, physical activity, and central adiposity in patients with chronic pain. Frontiers in Immunology, 10, 1-10.

4. O'Leary, H., et al. (2020). Meta-analysis of effects of exercise training on experimentally-induced pain thresholds in healthy adults. Exercise & Sport Sciences Reviews, 48(4), 206-213.

5. Mammen, G., Faulkner, G., & Mackay, M. (2018). Physical activity and the prevention of depression: a systematic review of prospective studies. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 6(2), 125-133.

6. Lin, P., et al. (2019). The effects of yoga on pain, mobility, and quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2019, 1-14.

7. Nielsen, J. D., et al. (2021). High‐intensity interval training in chronic pain management: a scoping review. European Journal of Pain, 25(1), 43-57.


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