Today, Longevity Exercise Physiology DrummoyneEdgecliff, Marrickville, Bella Vista, Randwick, Pymble, Neutral Bay and Balmain will discuss the difference between chronic and acute pain and the role of exercise in the management of chronic pain.

Chronic VS Acute pain

Chronic pain can be defined as pain that generally persists beyond suspected healing time or known relative physiological recovery. Additionally, chronic pain may be regarded as pain that exceeds and reoccurs for upwards of 3-6months. Chronic pain is a complex condition though can be basically described, as a maladaptive protection mechanism of the brain. Where an initial movement or instance may have resulted in tissue damage, resulting in pain and subsequently the brain can potentially associate movement or instance as damage, thus sending signals to protect itself, even though the injury or damage has healed. This condition may be incredibly debilitating and detrimental to the individual; whilst affecting 20% of individuals globally. 

Acute pain however, tends to occur suddenly and is generally caused by a precise reason. This experienced pain varies in duration (depending on the severity and cause) and tends NOT to exceed 3-6months. Acute pain may differ in its manifestation (eg; sharp/dull) and commonly dissipates when the underlying cause is removed or improved. 

Literature concludes that exercise and physical activity can have a positive influence in the managing and treating of various chronic conditions, inclusive of chronic pain.

The role of exercise in the management of chronic pain

Literature concludes that exercise and physical activity can have a positive influence in the managing and treating of various chronic conditions, inclusive of chronic pain. When general and similar exercise protocols (total load/frequency) are applied to chronic pain, outcomes suggest that individuals experience an improvement in their pain and correlated symptoms. Currently, specific exercise guidelines for chronic pain are lacking, although consistent and regimented exercise is far more preferable than avoiding movement totally. Individualised, tailored and specific exercise programming has been shown to provide individuals experiencing chronic pain, far greater outcomes – whilst minimising the risk of injury or exacerbations of symptoms. 

HOW CAN AN EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST ASSIST DURING THIS TIME? 

A tailored and specific exercise program that is designed based on both subjective and objective information  are gathered in an initial consultation.

  • Provide strategies and guidance that can be implemented into daily routine
  • Assist with goal setting
  • Education of physiological responses to exercise stimulus

If you or anyone you know would benefit from exercise during this time, or would like clarification on the information above – give us a call on 1300 964 002.

Written by Kale Barton-Bissaker