Exercise Helps Take Away the Pain
Not only does exercise help reduce the risk of developing numerous diseases, it may also be effective in reducing the perception of pain, even among those with chronic pain in the lower back.
Researchers at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wis., recruited 10 healthy people and eight people with chronic lower-back pain.
During a 25-minute ride on an exercise bike, both groups showed marked reductions in pain perception, which lasted for about 30 minutes after the session.
Lead researcher Dr. Martin Hoffman suggests that as long as the exercise does not exacerbate the injury, it could be an effective means of alleviating pain.
It is significant that the eight individuals with back pain were sedentary prior to participation in this study because inactivity has been shown to contribute to muscular back pain.
In a related study, Hoffman and his associates concluded that exercise intensities from 50 to 75 percent (at the lower end of the heart rate training zone) were necessary to induce a temporary reduction in pain perception.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May 2000; 32, 5, Supplement,
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