Exercise and pain: The neurobiology, measurement, and laboratory study of pain in relation to exercise in humans

Department of Excercise Science, University of Georgia, Athens, USA.
Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews (Impact Factor: 4.26). 02/1999; 27:119-66. DOI: 10.1249/00003677-199900270-00007
Source: PubMed
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    • "Anshel and Russell37 have theorized that the ability of an athlete to tolerate exercise-induced pain is a critical factor in endurance sports, and there appears to be agreement between athletes, coaches, and researchers that pain tolerance can limit certain types of athletic performance.37,38 In research, cycle ergometry has been consistently shown to cause naturally occurring muscle pain,35,39,40 although this measure is rarely collected during experimental research (but is sometimes integrated with RPE as feelings of “discomfort”). As pain is ultimately a physiological warning to remove the body from a potentially damaging situation or activity, the pain that arises as a result of intense exercise must convey a powerful drive to either stop the exercise or reduce its intensity so that pain decreases. "
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    ABSTRACT: During prolonged dynamic and rhythmic exercise, muscular pain and discomfort arises as a result of an increased concentration of deleterious metabolites. Sensed by peripheral nociceptors and transmitted via afferent feedback to the brain, this provides important information regarding the physiological state of the muscle. These sensations ultimately contribute to what is termed "exercise-induced pain". Despite being well recognized by athletes and coaches, and suggested to be integral to exercise performance, this construct has largely escaped attention in experimental work. This perspective article highlights the current understanding of pacing in endurance performance, and the causes of exercise-induced pain. A new perspective is described, which proposes how exercise-induced pain may be a contributing factor in helping individuals to regulate their work rate during exercise and thus provides an important construct in pacing.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine
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    • "This finding has been confirmed by human and animal model studies, which have shown that beta-endorphin levels in the cerebrospinal fluid remained high for approximately 1-2 days after running was terminated (19, 31, 41). Thus, it is believed that higher levels of beta-endorphin increase the nociceptive threshold after training (9, 10). Siuciak et al (40) found that increase in serum BDNF levels after exercise may be important for the stability of sensitivities to the analgesic effects of morphine after exercise. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective(s): Morphine is widely used to treat chronic pain. However, its utility is hindered by the development of tolerance to its analgesic effects. Despite the renowned beneficial effects of physical exercise on cognitive functions and signs of morphine withdrawal in morphine-dependent rats, little is known about the roles of voluntary and forced exercises in tolerance to analgesic effect of morphine in rats. Materials and Methods: In this study, rats were injected with 10 mg/kg of morphine, once daily, SC over a period of 8 days of either voluntary or treadmill exercise. Following these injections, the percent of maximum possible effect (%MPE) of morphine was measured on the 1st, 4th, and 8th days by hot plate test. Results: Both voluntary and forced exercises significantly increased pain threshold compared to the sedentary group (P<0.05). Voluntary and forced exercises also significantly increased potency of morphine compared to sedentary morphine group (P<0.05). Thus, we concluded that voluntary and forced exercises blocked the development of tolerance during 8 daily simultaneously treatments. When exercising rats were returned to sedentary conditions, sensitivity to the analgesic effects of morphine increased significantly and persisted during sedentary period in the exercising rats. In other words, %MPE of the exercising morphine-group increased significantly compared to saline group (P<0.05). Conclusion: Our results showed that voluntary and forced exercises may be possible methods for treating the development of tolerance to analgesic effect of morphine in rats.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences
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    • "During high intensity exercise, Type III and IV nociceptors, are stimulated by mechanical pressure, heat, cold, noxious pressure, and endogenous pain producing (algesic) substances. These contribute to the acute muscle pain associated with particular forms of exercise (O'Connor and Cook, 1999), which is ultimately interpreted in the brain and perceived as exercise-induced pain. Given that the conscious awareness of the self is an important facet in pacing based decisions in exercise, it is logical that exercise-induced pain may provide an individual with useful information regarding the relative " strain " on the body, and thus use this to inform a conscious decision to increase or decrease exercise intensity (Mauger et al., 2010a). "

    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Frontiers in Physiology
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