Exercise prescription is a central tenet of physiotherapy. One of the numerous benefits of exercise is its influence on endogenous pain modulation. Exercise-induced hypoalgesia (EIH) refers to a short-term change in pain sensitivity following an acute bout of exercise. Interest in this phenomenon has grown considerably with over 150 articles published, including four systematic reviews in 2020 alone. This narrative review provides an overview of EIH including a definition and summary of the underlying mechanisms and mediating factors. Recent systematic reviews assessing EIH in people with and without musculoskeletal complaints were evaluated using AMSTAR2. Review findings confirm the presence of EIH. For asymptomatic people, confidence in the evidence was low to very low due to high heterogeneity of included studies, risk of bias, and study eligibility. For people with pain, there is very low confidence, at best, that subgroups or isometric exercise show altered EIH. Despite the growing body of evidence, challenges within the available evidence due to its complex nature are highlighted. Recommendations regarding outcome measures and exercise parameters are required, and further understanding of reliability and validity of EIH is needed. There is a demand to further elucidate these parameters and contextual factors to advance our understanding of EIH. Additional clinical research, especially in patient populations, is required to then provide implications for rehabilitation.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Pain modulation through exercise: Exercise-induced hypoalgesia in physiotherapy
|Number of pages
|Early online date
|15 Feb 2022
|E-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2022
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature.
- Exercise program
- Pain inhibition
- Pain sensitivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine