In February’s issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health addressed the occurrence, or lack of, exercise prescriptions. Of the 700 participants in the sample, less than 50 percent had been encouraged or told to use exercise as part of their recovery plan.
As many of you already know from personal experience, chronic pain is a very real and highly prevalent result of spinal cord injuries. Finding ways to deal with it when a cure is lacking can be both frustrating and time consuming. According to Kazuko L. Shem, M.D. with Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Center, 65-95 percent of spinal cord injury patients experience pain with up to 45 percent classifying it as “sever disabling pain”.
Exercise is the common factor between spinal cord injuries and arthritis. Numerous studies have found that regular exercise benefits both actual recovery and perceived well-being in spinal cord injury patients as well as those with arthritis. If that’s the case, why haven’t there been more studies regarding pain management using similar tactics?
In our research, we found a handful of care sites that recommend exercise for spinal cord injury pain, but most of these sites either noted the lack of studies confirming the benefits, or provided a general suggestion and left it at that. We would like to know what you think.
Has exercise helped you manage your spinal cord injury pain? And if so, what’s worked and what hasn’t? Did your doctor prescribe it?
Article: “Exercise Prescription for Chronic Back or Neck Pain: Who Prescribes It? Who Gets It? What Is Prescribed?” Janet K. Freburger, Timothy S. Carey, George M. Holmes, Andrea S. Wallace, Liana D. Castel, Jane D. Darter, Anne M. Jackman, Arthritis & Rheumatism (Arthritis Care & Research), February 2009.