Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 93-97

First online:

Does aerobic exercise improve pain perception and mood? A review of the evidence related to healthy and chronic pain subjects

  • Martin D. HoffmanAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (117), Sacramento VA Medical Center Email author 
  • , Debi Rufi Hoffman

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Aerobic exercise can cause an acute improvement in mood as well as a reduction in the perception of pain from a painful stimulus. Regular exercise training also may offer some protection from depression, is clinically useful in treating certain psychiatric and chronic pain conditions, and may allow for an enhancement of the acute improvements in mood from a single exercise session. The utility of aerobic exercise training for improving mood disturbances and pain perception among patients with chronic pain requires further investigation.