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The Role of Exercise in Pain Perception - Essay Example

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The Role of Exercise in Pain Perception Introduction Scholars have investigated whether decreased sensitivity to pain occurs after undertaking aerobic exercise (Koltyn, 2002), for instance, resistance or isometric exercise. Many researchers have concluded that reduced perception of pain occurs during and after exercise under experimental and clinical conditions (Smith, 2004)…
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Download file to see previous pages Aerobic Exercise Many a researcher has suggested that aerobic exercise can help in mood improvement. Others have noted that aerobic the benefits of such exercises in reducing pain. Hoffman and Hoffman (2007) note that regular exercise training has positive effects when applied to patients suffering from depression, chronic pain conditions, as well as some psychiatric conditions. Smith (2004) notes that one remarkable example of stress instigated analgesia commonly observed is the reduction in the pain felt by athletes during competition. In this respect, Smith suggests that the athletes respond to stimuli when subjected to competition stress. Smith engaged in a study to establish the nature of stress that comes with interpersonal competition. Smith’s study was also dedicated to determining which element of physical exertion, psychological stress, or athletic competition triggers pain inhibition. The study revealed that stress instigated analgesia resulted from strenuous exercise among athletes and non-athletes (Smith, 2004). Nichols and Glenn conducted a study in an attempt to evaluate the impact of aerobic exercise on psyhological, disability, and pain symptoms among persons with fibromyagia. The researchers engaged the sample consisting of two men and 17 women with fibromyalgia in aerobic exercises for a period of eight weeks (Nichols & Glenn, 1994). During the study, each element of the sample was asked to complete pre-tests and post-tests of BSI (Brief Symptom Inventory), MPQ (McGill Pain Questionnaire), and SIP (Sickness Impact Profile). The end scores were appropriately adjusted after which a covariance analysis was done. Based on the experimental study, the researchers concluded that the results that they obtained did not warrant any conclusion. Some trends suggested that aerobic exercise was beneficial while others revealed limited significance, for those with fibromyalgia. The exercise was beneficial in respect of pain and lower psychological ratings but insignificant for higher physical disability ratings (Nichols & Glenn, 1994). Pain perception response to aerobic exercise has been under investigation for several years. The modes of experimental design used by the scholars have varied. The common modes of experiment used include the intensity and duration of exercise, timing of pain experiments and pain perception measures (Nichols & Glenn, 1994). Kotlyn et al. (2002) carried out their experiment using male cyclists cycling at 75% VO2max (maximal oxygen consumption) for 30 minutes (What is it). There is an alteration in pain perception to several noxious stimuli after experiments involving aerobic exercise despite the differences in the way the experiment was carried out. According to Koltyn, decreased sensitivity to pain occurs after high intensity exercise. Drury, Greenwood, Stuempfle and Koltyn (2005) note that exercise results in the alteration of pain sensitivity during and after high intensity exercise. Specifically targeting women, the researchers engaged in a study to investigate the changes in the perception of pain among women during and after exercise. The study was conducted by the researchers was to a significant extent similar to that previously conduced by Kotlyn, only this time a different gender was taken into consideration. The study engaged a sample of 17 healthy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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