The Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Pain and Neurosensory Modulation in Healthy Participants and with Chronic Pain Disorder

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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PrologueThe function of endogenous pain-inhibiting systems is well recognised in the research literature, however, the underlying central mechanisms following physical exercise and the application in exercise rehabilitation has not been fully elucidated. Previous research shows that spinal anti-nociceptive and central pain-inhibitory systems contribute to mediating experimental pain responses (Basbaum & Fields, 1984). Currently, there is a paucity of research literature that explicates the neurosensory processing of nociceptive information in healthy participants following physical exertion. This information is important in advancing the understanding of the processes that lead to the inhibition of pain. Moreover, this information can initiate further understanding into the development of exercise rehabilitation programming for persons with chronic pain disorder.Previous research shows that the central nervous systems undergoes structural and functional changes in persons suffering with persistent pain conditions (Lee & Tracey, 2010). It has been proposed that part of the underlying pain processing mechanism in chronic pain disorder is of central hypersensitivity (Lim, Sterling, Stone, & Vicenzino, 2011). Physical exercise rehabilitation has the potential to impede and alleviate the changes in the central nervous system as well attenuate clinical pain report in persons with chronic pain disorder. In order to develop a series of research studies to elucidate the function of pain inhibitory systems following physical exercise, it is necessary to develop a review of the past and present pain literature. Therefore the purpose of this thesis is to further explicate the function of central pain inhibitory systems in healthy participants following acute physical exercise and in persons with chronic pain disorder following physical rehabilitation.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Marino, Francesco, Co-Supervisor
  • Drinkwater, Eric, Co-Supervisor
  • Cannon, Jack, Co-Supervisor
Award date01 Jul 2012
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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