For people living with chronic pain, exercise is often the last thing they want to do. But physical activity could be a key component of some treatment plans, new studies suggest, especially with conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.
"The pain doesn't go away completely. It's not a cure. But it's a way to improve how you feel and your ability to function in daily life," says Daniel S. Rooks, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a researcher for Novartis Pharmaceutical in Cambridge, Mass. He was the lead author of a study, published in the Nov. 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, suggesting that regular, moderately intense exercise can benefit many fibromyalgia sufferers.