Chronic musculoskeletal pain refers to any ongoing pain felt in the bones, joints and tissues of the body (spinal pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.) that persists longer than three months.
Unlike acute pain which may be 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’.
There is a great deal of research that has shown that exercise plays an essential part in the treatment of chronic pain. Studies have shown that exercise can be an effective way to reverse the downward cycle of deconditioning and worsening pain which can occur, and over time exercise can help those with chronic pain to more easily be able to engage in activities of enjoyment and activities of daily living.
Chronic Pain Facts
✔ 20% of adults in Western society experience chronic pain.
✔ Secondary factors or the consequences of persisting pain (fear and anxiety, mood, inactivity, unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, stress, etc.), drive pain and disability more than tissue related factors (joint and nerve injury, etc.) as pain becomes persistent.
✔ Exercise is the most commonly used treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain, and can be very helpful in restoring confidence, movement and function along with restoring normal brain and nervous system pain processing.