THURSDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A bout of exercise can
worsen the aches of American military veterans suffering from
chronic musculoskeletal pain, a small new study shows,
But researchers say that it's only temporary.
Long-term exercise, they stress, can help reduce veterans'
About 100,000 veterans from the first Gulf War war have reported
chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) similar to fibromyalgia. The
researchers used heat to test the pain sensitivity of 15 Gulf War
veterans with CMP and 17 healthy veterans of that war after a
workout. Compared to the healthy participants, veterans with CMP
found the heat stimuli to be more intense and unpleasant.
The vets with CMP also reported more intense leg pain during
exercise and were more sensitive to the heat stimuli after the bout
of exercise than they were before it. However, there were no
significant differences in the pain threshold between vets with CMP
and healthy vets.
Previous research has found that chronic (long-term) exercise
can help reduce chronic muscle pain, noted the researchers, who
worked at Middleton Memorial Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin and the
University of Wisconsin.
Doctors need to encourage regular exercise for patients with
chronic musculoskeletal pain in order to prevent disability, even
though the early stages of an exercise program may cause increased
pain for a short time, according to the researchers.
The study appears in the current issue of the
Journal of Pain.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about
treatment of musculoskeletal pain.