Staying active can help prevent chronic pain says new research

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exercise, chronic pain, physical activity, arthritis information, arthritis magazine, arthritis digestOlder people who have higher levels of activity are at lower risk of developing chronic pain, reports a small study in Pain.

A total of 51 healthy adults aged 60–77 years wore a monitor device for a week to assess their level of physical activity. Two tests were then carried out. The first, called “temporal summation,” measured the production of pain responses to repeated pain stimuli. The other test, called “conditioned pain modulation,” assessed the reduction of pain responses to competing pain stimuli.

Key findings

Physically active older adults had lower pain perception and were better able to block responses to painful stimuli.

The older adults who did more moderate to vigorous physical activity perceived less facilitation of pain, while those who did at least some activity were better able to block pain perceptions.

“Our data suggest that low levels of sedentary behavior and greater light physical activity may be critical in maintaining effective endogenous pain inhibitory function in older adults,” the authors say.

Now studies will be done to test the implications for physical activity programmes to reduce and prevent pain in older adults.

Click here to read the original research.

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