Exercise Combats Richmond Chronic Pain and Related Distress

April 10, 2024

Do you have chronic pain? You aren’t alone! Chronic pain can work on the mind and the body. Over 80% of retired NFL football players experience pain daily. A recent questionnaire study of them found that the greater the pain acceptance, the lower the pain intensity they experienced. (1) Accepting pain is hard though! Luckily, so many studies show that a tad bit of optimism and physical activity improves pain and optimism. For these and more reasons, Johnson Chiropractic incorporates exercise into our chronic back pain patients’ Richmond chiropractic treatment plans!


Exercise benefits extend beyond the physical body improvements. Exercise also improves the mind and outlook of a person in pain, particularly one dealing with chronic low back pain. At the conclusion of a 3-month study of chronic low back pain patients who either exercised or didn’t, researchers documented that pain disability scores in the exercisers decreased significantly more. In both groups, reduced pain scores correlated with higher self-efficacy scores (feelings of independence). Chronic low back pain exercisers’ increased disability reflected a positive influence on increased self-efficacy and pain relief. (2) Another study of 72 patients before treatment for their chronic pain and after 3 months of treatment documented that improved self-efficacy was associated with lowered disability regardless of any decrease of pain intensity. They summarized that helping chronic pain patients improve their sense of self-efficacy could be a good way to help chronic pain patients cope with pain in addition to just relieving their pain. (3)


And an optimistic attitude toward pain can be a plus! Fear-avoidance is a not-too-unusual a problem for patients with pain. They do not want to do anything to aggravate their pain and cause pain which leads them to move less and have less optimism for ever being without pain. Research indicated that patients with longer periods with pain who expressed greater self-efficacy and patients with higher pain disability and depression had lower self-efficacy. (4) Knowing this, we support our Richmond pain patients to be active and keep living life! Improvement is coming!

EXERCISE: Time to Move!

And we all know it: physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle are bad for us. Researchers even write that they are associated with chronic musculoskeletal pain and can even exacerbate it! What is the solution? Physical exercise, of course. Researchers noted in a new study that exercise programs combining a variety of types of exercise – flexibility, balance, aerobic, strengthening – tend to be better. Such combinations are also more flexible to an individual patient’s issues. Light-to-moderate intensity exercise done two to three times a week for just 4 weeks were found to be of greatest benefit for chronic pain patients especially for those with spine pain conditions like chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. (5) Johnson Chiropractic formulates a strategy expressly for each Richmond chiropractic patient.

CONTACT Johnson Chiropractic

Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Kelly Brinkman on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as she describes the effective gentle protocols of The Cox® Technic System of Spinal Pain Management in treating chronic back pain.

Schedule your Richmond chiropractic appointment today. Whether you’re a retired NFL player or NFL fan or neither of these, bring your chronic pain and worried mind to Johnson Chiropractic. Let’s work together to reduce pain and fear of pain and increase your sense of independence and joy of life with chiropractic and exercise!

Richmond chiropractic care and exercise of all sorts help reduce chronic pain and distress