Exercise and physiotherapy for pain management

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Read about exercise and physiotherapy, and how they benefit pain management.


Regular exercise is an important part of our lives. It helps to keep us healthy by maintaining the strength of our heart, lungs, bones, and muscles. Exercise releases natural painkillers called endorphins that are found in our bodies. These help to reduce pain, but they can also help to improve our mood and energy level, as well as helping us to sleep better.

Studies have shown that aerobic exercise is beneficial for relieving chronic pain conditions. It does so by maintaining physical function, decreasing fatigue, improving sleep, and improving the sense of well-being.

Children with acute and chronic pain conditions are often seen by a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist, amongst other treatments, can recommend exercises that will decrease pain and increase function. Either a physiotherapist or a kinesiologist can help develop an exercise program tailored to individual needs.

A new exercise program should be started slowly and increased gradually over time. The ultimate goal is to make physical activity part of one’s lifestyle every day. A formal exercise program should generally be done at least three to five times per week for 30 minutes. Components of such a program include aerobic training, muscle strengthening/conditioning, and stretching/flexibility exercises.


Physiotherapists have a detailed understanding of how the body works, together with a knowledge of diseases, types of injuries, and the healing process. They also have the ability to distinguish normal from abnormal in body posture, movement, and functioning. The primary goals of physiotherapy are to restore body movement, improve functioning, prevent further injury, and promote healing. It is an effective active therapy that can be useful in reducing pain.

A child’s mobility may be influenced by physical, psychological, social, and environmental factors. The role of a physiotherapist is to plan a treatment program in collaboration with the child and their parents, as well as with other members of the health-care team. The aim of the plan will be to achieve the best possible movement potential.

Physiotherapy restores bodily movement and enables a child to live a more normal life at home, at school, and at play. In this way, physiotherapy can help reduce any negative psychological aspects of pain. Children suffering from chronic pain are often depressed because their daily lives are restricted by their condition. Physiotherapy will help your child return to a more active life and will thereby have a positive impact on their emotional state.

Last updated: September 18th 2009