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Exercise Acts As Painkiller For Cancer Patients

Article Source: Better Health Trends

so that you can get out there walk and do your regular upper body workout and strengthening.

In a groundbreaking study led by Erika Rees-Punia of the American Cancer Society and Christopher Swain from the University of Melbourne, researchers delved into the potential benefits of physical activity in managing ongoing cancer pain. This study, encompassing a vast cohort of over 10,600 individuals with a history of cancer and more than 51,000 without, yielded intriguing insights into the relationship between exercise and pain levels among cancer survivors.

Participants were surveyed about their regular physical activity routines and their subjective experiences with pain. The findings, contrary to some expectations, revealed a significant correlation between higher levels of physical activity and reduced pain intensity across both groups—those with cancer histories and those without. This discovery suggests that engaging in routine exercise might play a pivotal role in alleviating not just general pain but specifically cancer-related pain, echoing similar benefits observed for other types of pain management.

What We Learned About Exercise For Cancer Patients

According to established guidelines by health authorities in the United States, adults are encouraged to aim for a minimum of 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous activity. Intriguingly, the study found that among individuals who had undergone cancer treatment, those who surpassed these recommended activity levels were 16% less likely to report experiencing moderate-to-severe pain compared to their less active counterparts.

Moreover, the research highlighted compelling trends regarding the timing and consistency of physical activity. It was observed that participants who consistently engaged in exercise or initiated physical activity later in life reported lower levels of pain compared to those who remained inactive. This suggests that adopting an active lifestyle, even in older adulthood or following a cancer diagnosis, may contribute to improved pain management and overall well-being for cancer survivors.

The implications of these findings are profound and have the potential to shape cancer care strategies moving forward. Published in the esteemed journal Cancer on February 12, this study underscores the importance of considering non-pharmacologic interventions, such as exercise, as integral components of holistic cancer care. Erika Rees-Punia emphasized the significance of recognizing physical activity as a viable strategy for pain management, highlighting its effectiveness in mitigating various types of pain associated with cancer and its treatment. 

As researchers continue to explore the intricate interplay between physical activity and pain relief in cancer survivors, these findings offer valuable insights that could revolutionize approaches to cancer care and survivorship, paving the way for enhanced quality of life and well-being for individuals affected by cancer.

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