In collaboration with Keck School of Medicine

Managing Chronic Pain with a Mind-Body Physical Activity Program

Person Walking in the Park As Part of Their Mind-Body Physical Activity Program to Manage Chronic Pain

This article was originally published on Confronting Chronic Pain by Dr. Steven Richeimer, Director Pain Medicine Master and Certificate.

Many people around the country suffer from chronic pain.  The good news is that there are also many different ways that people can try to manage that pain.  Researchers are continuously looking for additional tools that people can use to help them find relief.  Every year, more chronic pain management methods come about, giving people additional options to consider and try as part of their pain management routine.

In a new study published in the April 2020 issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, researchers set out to determine if there was a mind-body physical activity program that would help people with chronic pain. [1]

They created a test with 82 participants using a mind-body physical activity program called GetActive.  Half of the participants used a digital monitoring device for their physical activity, while the other half did not.

The GetActive program combines relaxation with cognitive-behavioral and physical restoration skills.  Those who participated in the program provided in-person assessments both before and after they participated in the study.  Each participants’ base was then taken by assessing how they did with a 6-minute walk and measuring their step count. Later compared their progress using the information.

The benchmarks that were used for this study included adherence to the home practice and client satisfaction, among others.  The researchers found that there were some improvements in both of the groups that participated in the program.  Not only did the researchers observe that the participants improved on the 6-minute walk test, but the participants also felt that they had improved.

Looking Into the Study

The important part of this study comes in what the researchers found as it relates to chronic pain.  They found that as people participated in the physical activity, they had improvements in mindfulness, emotional function, pain intensity, and pain coping.  They also reported that the program itself had been helpful in getting them to become more physically active.

There have been many studies over the years that indicate that physical activity is beneficial for those who are suffering from chronic pain.  This study further supports that idea.  With just a 6-minute walk on a regular basis, people felt they had improvements in their emotional function and chronic pain.  This is one more tool people can consider when trying to manage chronic pain.  Just a 6-minute walk per day may help take some of the pain away, or provide you with a better mindset for coping with it.

Master of Pain Medicine

Looking to advance your career in the area of treating and managing pain?  See if USC’s online, competency-based certificate and master’s program in pain medicine is the right next step for you!


Get More Information



[1] Journal of Medical Internet Research. Mind-body physical activity program for chronic pain with or without a Digital-Monitoring-Device. April 2020.

The information and resources contained on this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to assess, diagnose, or treat any medical and/or mental health disease or condition. The use of this website does not imply nor establish any type of provider-client relationship. Furthermore, the information obtained from this site should not be considered a substitute for a thorough medical and/or mental health evaluation by an appropriately credentialed and licensed professional. Commercial supporters are not involved in the content development or editorial process.
Posted: June 11, 2020
<a href="" target="_self">Dr. Steven H. Richeimer</a>

Dr. Steven H. Richeimer

Steven Richeimer, M.D. is a renowned specialist on issues related to chronic pain. He is the chief of the Division of Pain Medicine at the University of Southern California. He has written or co-written a large number of scientific articles about pain medicine. He recently published an instructive book and guide for pain patients. Dr. Richeimer has given numerous lectures to medical and lay audiences throughout the U.S.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This