PainRelief.com Interview with: Ana M Valdes MA PhD Professor in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre – Research Area Lead Associate Editor European Journal of Clinical Nutrition School of Medicine University of Nottingham
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Knee osteoarthritis and knee pain affect a large proportion of middle age and aging individuals and this are an increasing problem. Physical exercises aimed at strengthening and stabilising the muscles in the legs and hips are known to be highly effective in reducing pain and improving the ability to walk and get on with life. But a key challenge is how to deliver such gradual exercises in a way that does not require people to travel to see a physiotherapist or a doctor, particularly given the issues raised by lockdown both in terms of the Covid-secure challenges face to face visits and also given the strain that the pandemic has put on health services.
Our study was the first randomised controlled trial in the UK where we were had people with painful knee osteoarthritis either do only what their doctors normally recommend or, in addition, follow a programme of exercised developed in Sweden delivered via smartphone app. The research participants were assessed for knee inflammation, knee pain, pain sensitivity around the knee, muscle strength, and ability to walk and get up from a chair both before and after the 6 week smartphone delivered intervention (or a 6 week period simply following any advice they had from their family doctor).
Yvoni Kyriakidou, BSc, MSc, RD, ANutr, AFHEA Dietitian-Sports Nutritionist Doctoral Researcher in Exercise Physiology Translational Physiology Research Group School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, England, UK
MedicalResearch.com:What is the background for this study?
Response: Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) results in transient muscle inflammation, strength loss, muscle soreness and may cause subsequent exercise avoidance. Omega-3 (primarily found in oily fish) supplementation may minimise EIMD via its anti-inflammatory properties. However, its efficacy remains unclear.
In our study, we gave people omega-3 capsules three times a day for four weeks to build up their levels, or a matching placebo. They then took part in a very intense exercise aimed at causing severe muscle pain and physiologically safe muscle damage. We then measured blood levels of inflammation and muscle damage markers, physical pain and the ability of the participants to do forceful muscle contractions every day for the next three days.
PainRelief.com Interview with: Matthew Jones PhD, AEP Lecturer Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Medicine UNSW SYDNEY
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this review?
Response: Bck pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is associated with significant individual and societal costs. Low back pain can significantly impact an individual’s ability to carry out day to day tasks. Clinical guidelines consistently recommend that people with low back pain take exercise, and there does not appear to be a type of exercise (e.g., walking, Pilates, lifting weights) that is better than another for reducing pain and improving function. Despite hundreds of studies of exercise in people with low back pain, researchers do not have a good idea of how it works. This is important, because if we know how something works, we can design more effective interventions to reduce the burden of low back pain. The aim of this review was to summarise why researchers think exercise helps people with chronic low back pain (i.e., pain persisting for longer than 3 months).
This is a visual of VR exercise environment during test. Credit Maria Matsangidou
Maria Matsangidou, PhD School of Engineering and Digital Arts
University of Kent
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The results show that Virtual Reality (VR) technology can influence the perception of task difficulty, endurance performance and pain experienced during exercise. Most importantly, exercising through the use of VR technology revealed a significant decrease in Pain Intensity and Perceived Exertion reports, and a significant increase in Time to Exhaustion. This was contrary to conventional non-VR exercise which was found to have a significantly higher Pain Intensity and Perceived Exertion reports, and a significantly lower Time to Exhaustion.
In addition the results show that personal characteristics of internal body awareness, such as Private Body Consciousness, does not influence the efficiency VR has on the time to and the perceived pain and exhaustion. This means that the effectiveness of VR technology on time and the perception of pain and exhaustion could not be influenced by personal characteristics of internal body awareness.
A possible explanation could be that the attention of the participants is shifted from the observation of internal functions onto the virtual room and exercise.
PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: That VR provides a new form of reality, where the individual’s is able to exercise for longer with less pain and effort, and by extension this can increase physical activity. One can imagine how beneficial it would be for specific populations, such as athletes or individuals who are reluctant to engage in physical activity, as well as clinical populations where their recovery can be enhanced through physical physiotherapy.
PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research may investigate the conditions under which Private Body Consciousness may influence immersion and potentially the effectiveness of VR. For example, more research is needed to determine whether the virtual environments representing natural and photorealistic environments are more or less effective than ones presented in cartoonish form. Furthermore, it would be worthwhile adopting a mixed-methods approach (questionnaire and interview) in order to address user preferences for the design of VR environments. Finally, this study utilized participants who were both active and inactive, therefore future work should seek to replicate this study with a group of sedentary participants, as this is where the greatest potential for positive impact on behavior may be.
Maria Matsangidou, Chee Siang Ang, Alexis R. Mauger, Jittrapol Intarasirisawat, Boris Otkhmezuri, Marios N. Avraamides. Is your virtual self as sensational as your real? Virtual Reality: The effect of body consciousness on the experience of exercise sensations. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.07.004
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The information on PainRelief.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, endorese, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website. None of the content on PainRelief.com is warranted by the editors or owners of PainRelief.com or Eminent Domains Inc.
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