Chronic pain (also known as persistent pain) is pain that persists beyond the expected healing time of an injury. Unlike acute pain which is caused by tissue damage, chronic pain or persistent pain is less about the structural or tissue damage and more about the sensitivity of the nervous system and ‘non tissue related factors’.
Often when we experience chronic pain we avoid activity in an attempt to not cause pain flare ups. However we know that gradually over time, people experiencing chronic pain become less able to complete activities which were previously enjoyed, for example walking, and commonly also have difficulties in completing activities of daily living such as housework.
Why it’s important to exercise
Significant research has shown that exercise is an essential aspect in the treatment of chronic pain. Studies have shown that it can be an effective way to reverse this downward cycle of deconditioning and worsening pain, and gradually over time help those with chronic pain engage more in activities of enjoyment and essential activities of daily living with greater ease.