How Aerobic Activity Helps Alleviate Chronic Pain
Pain is the Problem
The cost of pain management is greater than the cost of health afflictions that are considered higher profile and life threatening. These health afflictions include metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, and endocrine.
Those suffering from chronic pain are primarily in the age range of 65 and above and the elderly population is expected to triple in coming years. This means that pain management will become a bigger problem, costing insurance companies hundreds of billions of dollars more than it already does.
Instead of liberally prescribing pain medication, studies show there is a far cheaper method of treatment that is more effective.
Aerobic Activity is the Answer
Adults are known to become less active as they age. This sedentary lifestyle is what fuels chronic pain. Numerous studies have confirmed time and time again the benefits of elderly adults engaging in a regular aerobic activity program.
For example, a 14-year study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy demonstrated that the older adults who were engaged in a consistent and well-rounded fitness program saw a dramatic reduction in chronic pain. This included overall episodes of chronic pain AND the severity of the pain. Sedentary adults saw the highest levels.
The take away from all of these studies is that older adults must be involved in a proper, appropriate, and effective exercise program. The earlier that an adult starts to exercise, the better.
Know Your Limits
While there are several studies that show the benefits of aerobic activity and a well-rounded fitness program for chronic pain alleviation, it is important not to overdo it. By exercising too much, you may actually increase the risk for chronic pain.
If you or someone you are caring for is undergoing an exercise program for chronic pain, please remember that it’s important to listen to your body and do as much as you comfortably can. Most importantly, allow a day or two of rest in between exercise sessions.