Pain, whether acute or chronic, is a growing public health concern. Other than taking medication, there are few options for dealing with pain, which is unfortunate because pain negatively impacts numerous areas of a person’s life, including relationships and work productivity.
Physical activity may be the answer.
Physical activity is associated with reduced sensitivity to pain. Note: if you are suffering from serious chronic or acute pain, physical activity should occur in a structured and safe environment. Possible outcomes include improvements in physical function, greater well-being, and reduced pain.
As a preventive measure, maintaining minimal levels of physical activity can help preserve the ability to regulate pain for chronic muscle pain patients. In a recent study, women who met current American College of Sports Medicine physical activity guidelines were less sensitive to pain than their less active peers. Vigorous intensity activity is significantly related to pain perception because the actual activity is often painful and can cause the person to habituate to pain.
The point is, exercise training is now considered to be one of the few consistently efficacious treatments for chronic muscle pain.
American College of Sports Medicine, Bulletin Active Voice: Exercise Your Pain Away