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    Physical activity decreases inflammation linked to psoriatic arthritis

    Exercise represents strategy to manage chronic pain

    Vinod Chandran MD, PhDVarious forms of exercise and proper nutrition can help patients with conditions like psoriatic arthritis better cope with chronic pain and improve their quality of life, says a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

    "Chronic pain forces patients to think about the basics in their life like eating better, exercising more, and focusing on good sleep hygiene," says John Pereira MD, CCFP, a physician at the Calgary Chronic Pain Centre and President-Elect of the Pain Society of Alberta, speaking here at the annual meeting of the Canadian Dermatology Association about chronic pain management. "Patients will continue to have pain, but their quality of life can improve substantially."

    Gradually taking up exercise is a way to lower levels of inflammation long-term, says Dr. Pereira. Some forms of activity, like supervised yoga, also enhance mental well-being and may ward off co-morbidities like depression, adds Dr. Pereira.

    "The postures, deep breathing and mindfulness play a role in pain management," says Dr. Pereira, in an interview with Dermatology Times

    Unfortunately, very little education about pain management has been part of the curriculum in most medical schools, notes Dr. Pereira. A 2011 study that included 117 US and Canadian medical schools found that US medical schools devote a median of nine teaching hours on pain and its management, compared to a median of 19.5 hours in Canada. As a percentage in the US, it represents 0.3% of the total curriculum hours.1 J Pain.2011 Dec;12(12):1199-208

    Earlier this year, Nora Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, MD, told a senate hearing in the US that students studying veterinary medicine get "much more training on how to address pain" than medical students.


    1Mezei L, Murinson BB, Johns Hopkins Pain Curriculum Development Team. Pain education in North American medical schools. J Pain. 2011;12(12):1199-208.


    Next: Diagnosing pain


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