How does exercise improve mood in women with chronic pain?

Exercise provides many benefits to help improve mood and chronic pain issues. Regular exercise helps improve range of motion and limberness of muscles, and joints. Exercise performed regularly will cause the body to release of a variety of chemicals that help improve mood, and decrease pain, including growth hormone, testosterone, catecholamines, endorphins, and serotonin. This one –two punch of feel good chemicals, plus pain reducing chemicals will help improve a person with chronic pain issued mood. 
Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine
Along with increasing muscle strength and endurance and keeping your muscles and joints active and healthy, exercise helps women with chronic pain to de-stress, which may ease your pain and help you sleep more soundly. Research has shown that regular participation in aerobic training has been reported to reduce symptoms of moderate depression and enhance psychological fitness. Exercise can even produce changes in certain chemical levels in the body, which can have an effect on the psychological state. Studies that have focused on “depressed mood,” as opposed to the more serious clinical depression, have found that just one hour of aerobic exercise helps to boost mood and give exercisers a sense of achievement. In one study reported in the January 2001 issue of the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, the “depressed-mood” group noticed a significant reduction in anger, fatigue, and tension, along with a boost in vitality and vigor. This study confirms what many women with chronic pain have experienced --that exercise is necessary to help them cope with the emotions of pain, as well as to reduce fatigue that may accompany their pain-related ailment.

Continue Learning about Fitness

How's Your Heart Rate Recovery?
How's Your Heart Rate Recovery?
Use this calculator only if you are physically active on a regular basis. If you're just starting an exercise program, work with your doctor to find a...
Read More
What type of exercise can help me sleep better?
Carol Ash, DOCarol Ash, DO
You may have heard that exercise at night can keep you awake. In this video, internist and sleep...
More Answers
Your Exercise Wake-Up Call
Your Exercise Wake-Up CallYour Exercise Wake-Up CallYour Exercise Wake-Up CallYour Exercise Wake-Up Call
Skipping a regular workout can put you at risk for serious health problems, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Learn how exercise protects your...
Start Slideshow
Move One Inch Workout
Move One Inch Workout

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.