Got Muscle Pain? Get A Move On!

I was rather intrigued to see a headline in a recent issue of one of the scientific journals I receive entitled “Exercise  Your Pain Away”.

Some interesting facts were included in the beginning:

  • Up to 50% of adults are affected by various acute pain conditions (ranging from everyday aches and pains to serious injuries) 
  • Roughly 20% of the population suffers from chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Unfortunately, many people who go straight to their doctor and get ‘pain killers’, ‘muscle relaxants’ or cortisone shots for inflammation, and often there’s no looking into what is causing the pain in the first place.  

This is risky because if the cause is never addressed, it’s not going to go away through using a band-aid, and chances are other side effects both from the meds as well of whatever type of muscular compensation the body tends to employ will put unnecessary strain on the rest of the body, and thus begins a downward spiral.

It’s not ‘news’ to state that if we’re active, there are a multitude of physical as well as emotional health benefits, but did you know that one such benefit that’s being researched is a possible reduced sensitivity to pain?

The American College of Sports Medicine reported that “recent data from our lab has also shown that chronic muscle pain patients with higher physical activity levels show brain and behavioral responses indicative of effective pain modulation while those with higher sedentary behaviors show an impaired ability to regulate pain. This research suggests that maintaining even minimal levels of physical activity can help preserve the ability to regulate pain for chronic muscle pain patients.”

and concluded with a statement that their on going research ” will help determine why exercise is an efficacious treatment for chronic pain“.

In simple terms, move it or lose it.

Not that you can’t get it back, but if you’re sitting still all day and being motionless, your body is far less likely to be able to deal with day to day stressors or react to what otherwise might be a minor setback.

Of course, if you’re injured, your current exercise regime may have to be altered temporarily, but the more we move, the more the body can maintain its natural fluidity and continue to be as healthy as it can be.

Moving is far more Paleo than taking a pill, by the way…