Exercise reduces inflammation and improves the balance of the neuroendocrine immune system—the system that is involved in the development of chronic pain.

Exercise is the single most important component of a chronic pain treatment program. Unfortunately, it may also be the most difficult.

It is often hard for me to convince patients to even discuss an exercise plan, let alone commit to one. When you are in pain, it does not seem logical that activity that causes muscle fatigue, discomfort, and leaves you worn out will be of any benefit.

This is the simple truth: action is better than inaction. Introducing exercise into your life will be a slow process, but it must be part of the process.

Remind yourself that although muscle development can cause pain, it is the pain of health improvement rather than the pain of degeneration.