pain

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Strength training relieves chronic neck pain

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Three groups of subjects with neck pain: One group did specific strength training (SST) for the neck and shoulders, the second group did high-intensity general fitness training (GFT) on a bicycle, and the control group did nothing.

The results: The GFT group showed a small decrease in neck muscle pain only immediately after exercise; the SST group showed a marked decrease in pain with a lasting effect after the training ended. The control group had no change.

A quote from the study, Strength Training Of Neck Muscles Relieves Chronic Pain: “The reduction in pain occurred gradually in the SST group, with trapezius muscle pain gradually decreasing as muscle strength increased. Although the GFT decreased the pain only temporarily, the authors note that even minor decreases in pain may be enough motivation to overcome barriers to exercise, and the resulting increase in fitness may benefit overall long-term health.”

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Can endorphins really alleviate pain?

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From the movie Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't.”

From this article, Endorphins: Natural Pain and Stress Fighters:

“In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.”

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Chronic pain: Exercise can bring relief - part 2

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A year and half ago I could not reach up and adjust my rear view mirror without shooting pain. I had trouble reaching out to close the car door. Often just laying in bed was painful. Now I do those things without a care in the world.  Exercise changed things dramatically.   

To avoid chronic pain such as arthritis those afflicted will avoid movements that cause them pain. Eventually that leads to a loss of strength, a decreased range of motion, and more pain – a vicious cycle.   Proper exercise will eliminate the pain, increase strength and range of motion, and create a positive cycle.

The right exercise will have the following components:

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Chronic pain: Exercise can bring relief

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Exercise can be a great way to ease chronic pain. There are risks associated with inactivity and benefits associated with movement.

When you're in pain, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind, but regular exercise can be a versatile weapon in the fight against chronic pain.

When you're inactive, your muscles — including your heart — lose strength and work less efficiently. Your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes increases. Inactivity can increase fatigue, stress and anxiety as well.

"Years ago, people who were in pain were told to rest," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic,
Rochester, Minn. "But now we know the exact opposite is true. When you rest, you become deconditioned — which may actually contribute to chronic pain."

As tough as it may be to start an exercise program, your body will thank you. Exercise can:

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Shoulder pain and referred pain finally disappears

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I was sitting in the dentist chair getting my teeth cleaned, and I began to moan. Not because of a recent Achilles operation, not because of my teeth, no it was because of pain in both my shoulders.  In addition to pain in my shoulders, for weeks I had been having referred pain running down my arms, and numbness in both my hands down to my fingertips. It was intolerable. Sleeping was horrible. My range of motion was increasingly becoming restricted, and the outlook looked worse if I did not do something. One shoulder was well on its way to becoming frozen.

My doctor gave me a couple Cortisone shots, and I went to physical therapy.  The pain dissipated and I was discharged.  I was still somewhat restricted in my use, and I could see the possibility of the pain flaring up again. I began strength training again. My trainer restricted my range of motion to a pain-free range. The range was very small at first, but it increased over time. Each week he had me lift a little more. Slowly my range of motion increased and the last remnants of pain disappeared.  I did not have to get into a special position to sleep.  I just slept hassle-free.

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Living without back pain or living with it

There are many changes that come from exercise - increases in strength, stamina, body leanness, speed, and flexibility – that can be measured. Changes that cannot be accurately measured include the decreased likelihood of injury and the attendant pain and how well you feel. The right exercise can result in an increase in one’s quality of life. In some cases it can be dramatically life changing. As trainers this is the most rewarding result we experience with clients.

One client: “ A year ago at this time I was experiencing frequent bouts of aches and pains in my neck, shoulders, and back. I figured it was just part of growing older. Since I started strength training last January, these problems have gone away. Amazing!”

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Living with pain or living without it

“ A year ago at this time I was experiencing frequent bouts of aches and pains in my neck, shoulders, and back. I figured it was just part of growing older. Since I started strength training last January, these problems have gone away. Amazing!”

This was the experience of Bill Milliken who trains with Timothy, one of our Austin Personal trainers. Carole had a similar experience: “I woke up every day with back pain. Going up and down stairs was painful for me knees. I am now pain-free”.

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