Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Self-Natural Posture Exercise and Chronic Pain Reduction

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Self-Natural Posture Exercise and Chronic Pain Reduction

Article excerpt

The biopsychological effects of physical exercise can be broadly divided into physical and psychological effects. The physical effects include strengthening the skeletal muscles; improving cardiac and cardiopulmonary functioning; and preventing obesity, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and other adult diseases (Bouchard, Shephard, Stephens, Sutton, & McPherson, 1990). The psychological effects include improvement in factors such as well-being, anxiety, depression, and self-concept, and in cognitive ability (Cassidy, 2016; Josefsson, Lindwall, & Archer, 2014; Penedo & Dahn, 2005; Tomporowski, Davis, Miller, & Naglieri, 2008).

Healthy individuals have been the focus in most studies on the effects of exercise (Josefsson et al., 2014; Penedo & Dahn, 2005). Therefore, their results cannot be easily extrapolated to a therapeutic setting. However, several researchers have examined the therapeutic effects of exercise among individuals with chronic pain. This is important given that, worldwide, chronic pain affects 20-30% of the adult population (Turk, Swanson, & Tunks, 2008). In South Korea, an estimated 2.5 million people (or about 10% of the total adult population) experience difficulties related to chronic pain (Kwon, 2011). The International Association for the Study of Pain has defined pain as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage" (Merskey, 1994, p. 75). People with chronic pain may experience constant pain for a period of time ranging from 3 months up to several years, with the cause of the pain being unclear (Treede et al., 2015). Typical treatments for chronic pain include medical interventions that are mainly palliative and can lead to problematic side effects, such as medication misuse and abuse (Ives et al., 2006; Katz et al., 2003), which means that they are not a definitive solution (Turk et al., 2008). Furthermore, in some cases, people might feel fearful knowing that medication will only temporarily relieve their pain (Brannon & Feist, 2007).

The ideal treatment for pain is one that is effective, short, and has minimal side effects. Exercise is one such treatment. Numerous researchers have demonstrated that exercise is an effective intervention for pain (Daenen, Varkey, Kellmann, & Nijs, 2015; Haahr et al., 2005; Hagberg, Harms-Ringdahl, Nisell, & Hjelm, 2000; Landmark, Romundstad, Borchgrevink, Kaasa, & Dale, 2011). Exercise and physical activity have been the focus in most of these previous studies (Daenen et al., 2015; Landmark et al., 2011), or rehabilitation exercises, such as yoga (Posadzki, Ernst, Terry, & Lee, 2011), which are not specific to pain relief. Therefore, the effects of pain-relieving exercises have not been reported in great detail. The selfnatural posture exercise (SNPE) program comprises one such set of pain-relieving exercises (J. K. Choi, 2014). SNPE is a specialized exercise therapy for pain relief, in which orthodontic principles are applied to the spine, pelvis, and other body parts by binding the legs and pelvis with body-type correction belts and by use of exercise equipment; however, its effectiveness remains to be investigated.

One might expect that the longer the duration of an exercise therapy, the greater will be its ability to relieve pain. However, this has not yet been confirmed. Past researchers performed simple comparisons, such as t tests and repeated-measures analyses of variance (ANOVA), and did not study changes of interest. The subjective experience of pain involves the complex interplay of physical, psychological, and environmental variables (Nicholas, 2008). Accordingly, for a treatment of chronic pain to be effective, pain relief should be considered at both sensory and psychological levels. It is similarly important to identify the effects on pain relief of various individual background variables, for example, gender, age, sedentary behavior, and duration of exercise program (Burke, Mathias, & Denson, 2015; Landmark et al. …

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