By Kara Morris
THURSDAY, May 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) — One potential solution to reducing chronic pain: move.
A new Norwegian study finds that physically active people have greater pain tolerance than people who don’t exercise. Those with higher activity levels also had a higher pain tolerance, according to the report published online May 24. Plus one.
“Becoming or maintaining physical activity over time can benefit you with pain tolerance. All you do is do something,” study author Anders Årnes, PhD student at the University Hospital of Northern Norway and colleagues said in a journal news release.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data from more than 10,000 adults who participated in a large population survey that is conducted periodically in Norway.
Using data from two rounds of the study — 2007 to 2008 and 2015 to 2016 — the researchers examined the participants’ self-reported levels of physical activity and their levels of pain tolerance. Pain tolerance was tested by immersing the hand in cold water.
Those who reported being physically active in either round of the study had greater pain tolerance than those who reported a sedentary lifestyle in both rounds.
Also, participants with higher total activity levels had a higher pain tolerance. The results showed that those with higher activity in the second round compared to the first round had a higher overall level of pain tolerance.
The researchers did not find a statistically significant relationship between activity level and changes in pain tolerance between the two study rounds.
However, they said the findings suggest that staying physically active, engaging in physical activity, or reinforcing activity is associated with greater pain tolerance.
The study authors suggested that promoting physical activity could be a potential strategy for relieving or avoiding chronic pain.
They note that future research could help confirm whether there is indeed a cause-and-effect relationship between activity and pain.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the benefits of physical activity.
source: Plus onePress release, May 25, 2023