One of the most consistent recommendations in cognitive behavioural therapy approaches for chronic pain is for people to exercise. Exercise is thought to help reduce pain, improve physical fitness and support participating in social, professional and domestic activities. By being fit people can manage their daily activities at a lower percentage of their maximum aerobic capacity and, hopefully, minimise the risk of flare-up.
While the overall premise of exercise is clear, the details of how often, what kind and the best approach for recovery after exercising are rather less. The problem for people with chronic pain is that moving HURTS. Some people have even argued that chronic pain is, in essence, an activity intolerance disorder.
Daenen, Varkey, Kellmann & Nijs (2014) have attempted to clarify the state of play in exercise for chronic pain, and propose some interesting guidelines for clinicians. You see, one type of chronic pain is not…
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