Stay Fit as a Teenager, Beat Chronic Pain Later

A good incentive to nip the obesity bug in the bud with your kids before it ever starts: Physical activity and fitness, particularly during the teen years, can lower a patient's risk of chronic pain as he or she ages.

Finnish researchers tracked the strength and flexibility of more than 1,000 men and women, who had been evaluated when they were teens in 1976, 25 years later to determine if there was a link between fitness and the absence of chronic pain.

Not surprisingly, physical activity made a huge difference:

  • Men who were flexible as teens were 50 percent less likely to have tension in their necks.
  • Women possessing better endurance strength as adults enjoyed a 34 percent reduction in neck tension.
  • As body mass indexes rose among men and women, so did their risk of low back pain and sorer necks.

This study makes great sense, particularly considering a recent study I posted about the benefits of viniyoga, an easy-to-learn variant of yoga that emphasizes safety. Addressing your pain through stretching or exercise is certainly much safer than relying on a pain relieving drug, either prescription or over-the-counter.

Another wonderful option to treat chronic pain: Seek out a trained chiropractor.

British Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 40, No. 2, February 2006: 107-113

Yahoo News February 15, 2006

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