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Regular Exercise lowers old- age pain

Regular exercise helps reduce pain in old age, say a survey that studied participants over a period of 14 years. Bonnie Bruce and colleagues from Stanford University, US, compared the level of pain in a group of runners and a group of community-based individuals who acted as controls, reports science portal EurekAlert. Participants were followed for 14 years, and were on average in their mid-sixties when the study started. Each year, they completed a questionnaire about their health status, exercise habits and history of injuries. In total, the study included 866 subjects: 492 Runners’ Association members and 374 controls.

The researchers say people who exercise regularly experience 25% less muscle and joint pain in their old age than people who are less active. Their results show that the greater majority of physically active participants did on average between 355 and 2,119 minutes of exercise per week over the course of the study, while controls exercised significantly less. After adjusting for confounding factors such as gender, age, weight, and health status, the results show that pain increased in both groups over time.

But members of Runners’ Association experienced 25% less musculoskeletal pain
than controls. This reduction persisted throughout the study period. “Exercise was associated with a substantial and significant reduction in pain even despite the fact that fractures, a significant predictor of pain, were slightly more common among runners,” the researchers concluded.

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