Exercise Combats Georgetown Chronic Pain and Related Distress

April 10, 2024

Do you experience chronic pain? You aren’t alone! Chronic pain can distress the mind and the body. Over 80% of retired NFL football players reported having 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! Fortunately, study after study shows that some optimism and physical activity improves pain and optimism. For these and more reasons, Dr. Butwell incorporates exercise into our chronic back pain patients’ Georgetown chiropractic treatment plans!


Exercise benefits go beyond the physical body improvements. Exercise also enhances the mind and outlook of a person in pain, especially 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 did not, researchers documented that pain disability scores in the exercisers dropped significantly more. In both groups, lowered pain scores connected to higher self-efficacy scores (feelings of independence). Chronic low back pain exercisers’ increased disability showed a beneficial impact 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 found that improved self-efficacy was associated with lowered disability whether they felt any reduction of pain intensity. They concluded that helping chronic pain patients raise their sense of self-efficacy could be an effective addition to the treatment of chronic pain patients beyond just pain relief. (3)


And an optimistic outlook 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 provoke their condition and cause pain which leads to less movement and less optimism for a life without pain. Research showed that patients with longer episodes of pain who expressed greater self-efficacy and patients with higher pain disability and depression had lower self-efficacy. (4) Understanding this, we support our Georgetown pain patients to be active and not avoid living life! ’Better’ is just around the corner!

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 aggravate it! What is the solution? Physical exercise, of course. Researchers pointed out in a new study that exercise programs that combine several forms of exercise – flexibility, balance, aerobic, strengthening – tend to be more effective. Such combinations are also more flexible to a particular patient’s issues. Light-to-moderate intensity exercise done two to three times a week for a month 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) Dr. Butwell works with each Georgetown chiropractic patient to make a strategy just for him/her.

CONTACT Dr. Butwell

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

Make your Georgetown chiropractic appointment now. Whether you’re a retired NFL player or NFL fan or neither of these, bring your chronic pain and worried mind to Dr. Butwell. We’ll work together to decrease pain and fear of pain and increase your sense of independence and joy of life with chiropractic and exercise!

Georgetown chiropractic care and exercise of all types help reduce chronic pain and distress