Will exercise decrease your pain?

I recently looked up POTS, a medical condition that I’m unfamiliar with:

Wikipedia: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS, also known as postural tachycardia syndrome) is a condition in which a change from the supine position to an upright position causes an abnormally large increase in heart rate, called tachycardia… A variety of treatments, including exercise and medications, can improve symptoms for the majority of people with POTS…

Okay, so while your heart is doing jumping jacks in your chest, it’s time to exercise? It seems like doctors suggest exercise for almost every medical condition. And it’s true, we don’t get enough exercise, but…


They measured the physical activity of 1,600 adults with osteoarthritis in their hips, knees or feet; and found that just 45 minutes of moderate physical activity a week improved their function and reduced pain…

Osteoarthritis is a specific medical condition that can cause varying levels of pain and disability, but I don’t think that every chronic pain condition will respond the same to light physical activity.

In a study of 131 older adults who have osteoarthritis, participants attended 45-minute chair yoga sessions twice a week for 8 weeks.

Researchers measured their pain, pain interference (how it affects one’s life), balance, gait speed, fatigue and functional ability; before, during and after the sessions.

Compared to a control group enrolled in a health education program, the chair yoga group showed a greater reduction in pain, pain interference and fatigue during the sessions, as well as an improved gait. The reduction in pain interference lasted for about three months after the chair yoga program was completed…

When I lived in Houston, it was too hot and humid to take walks. I only started taking walks after I moved to New Mexico (and got a camera). At first, I lost some weight, which was a good thing. But the weight didn’t stay off. Part of the reason for that was my inability to find and afford quality medical cannabis. I’ve gone through periods of stability that have lasted for months — both in the legal and underground markets — but they always come to an end, interrupting any progress I might make.

Since I moved here over 3 years ago, I’ve been more physically active than I have been in the past. I’ve also taken up baking (which includes more cleaning), and that’s also increased my physical activity levels.

So, has all this increased physical activity helped to decrease my overall pain levels? It seems logical that it would. Maybe in a group of patients who suffer from osteoarthritis, you would see the majority of them achieving benefits from exercise, including a decrease in pain levels. Would the same be true of a group of patients who suffer from TMJ or Trigeminal Neuralgia?

I hate to go against logic, but as I sit here thinking about the connection between my level of physical activity and my pain levels, I can’t say that the increased physical activity has made any difference in my pain levels. Sure, sometimes a walk can increase my pain levels, but usually, my level of physical activity doesn’t appear to be related to my pain levels. I know that doesn’t make sense, but there you have it.

11 thoughts on “Will exercise decrease your pain?

  1. And another thing: it is my personal, non-scientific observation that a certain number of humans (I’m not a veterinarian but I bet they have some ideas) seem to have a defect in their endorphin system. For instance, the feel-good of exercise only feels good if you a) produce endorphins and b) they bind to your mu receptors. If those things don’t happen, exercise is going to either do nothing or cause more pain. Plus which, I rather doubt that exercise is going to help TGN. But I’m always ready for pleasant surprisesπŸ˜†

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  2. For POTS, recumbent exercises are recommended. I’ll be getting a recumbent bike soon for this very reason. This helps strengthen the legs muscles to basically help your blood vessels in the legs work better to get that blood flowing to where it’s supposed to go! It’s recommended to start at literally 1-2 minutes at a time and work up to 20-30 minutes several days a week. I can take a LONG time, though!
    Thank you for educating yourself on a disease state you’re unfamiliar with! πŸ™‚ If only everyone would do that!

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  3. I got told plenty of times I just needed “gentle exercise”, now they say EDS patients shouldn’t stretch. I do know after a day walking around Renn Fest I pay for it for a few days after. With my TN, it’s nerve pain and I don’t do well with headaches at all, so I can’t imagine moving if my TN flares. UGH

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  4. POTs=exercise intolerance
    Exercise intolerance=less activity
    Less activity=cardiac deconditioning=a worsening of postural symptoms

    Rowing and biking are it. That way, when the person passes out, they’re already close to the floor. πŸ˜† It sounds like torture to me. I can’t even imagine rowing now.

    My neuropathy pain gets worse with increased activity and is at its absolute worst when I’m in bed, not moving at all. If you’re taking a poll. πŸ˜‰

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  5. I have mixed results with exercise. My three main health issues are:Fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and migraines. I’ve found walking or swimming works the best for me. If I faithfully do either and lose weight, the fibro symptoms improve somewhat, but don’t go away completely. And sadly, it doesn’t do anything for the neuropathy and migraines. But on the plus side, it definitely helps with my stress and anxiety.

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