Physical Activity May Help Older Adults Cope Better with Chronic Pain, Study Says

Physical Activity May Help Older Adults Cope Better with Chronic Pain, Study Says
Physical activity influences the body’s response to painful stimuli in older adults, according to results of a new study. Also, researchers found that people who are physically active have lower pain perception and cope better with painful stimuli. These findings, presented in "Physical Activity Behavior Predicts Endogenous Pain Modulation In Older Adults" and published in the journal PAIN, may further understanding of how physical activity could  control pain in people with chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia. “Older adults compared with younger adults are characterized by greater endogenous pain facilitation and a reduced capacity to endogenously inhibit pain, potentially placing them at a greater risk for chronic pain,” researchers wrote. “Previous research suggests that higher levels of self-reported physical activity are associated with more effective pain inhibition and less pain facilitation on quantitative sensory tests in healthy adults.” The study enrolled 51 healthy adults, aged 60 to 77 years, to investigate how physical activity influenced the sense of pain and pain inhibition. Participants wore an activity monitor device to measure their level of physical activity for one week. Researchers then assessed pain modulation (how pain is perceived by the brain) with two tests. The “temporal summation” test measured pain responses to repeated painful stimuli, whereas the “conditioned pain modulation” measured the inhibition of pain responses to painful stimuli. Results indicated that people with a less sedentary lifestyle, and who f
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One comment

  1. Sandra says:

    Right off the top of my head they are talking about people who are not in chronic pain to begin with…they are just older. And the self-reporting business, well, anybody can say anything…it’s a reflection of how they see themselves. I was active too before I got Fibro and I’m sure I would have reported the same things. Being in pain 24 hours a day, day in and day out, changes you at a visceral level.

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