City in IOWA, Iowa — It may seem counterintuitive to work your muscles when trying to stop muscle soreness, but a new animal study suggests there’s a method to such insanity. Researchers at the University of Iowa report that resistance or strength training activates androgen receptors that protect against chronic musculoskeletal pain. Even if you don’t feel muscle soreness at the moment, the team suggests that regular strength training could prevent future muscle problems and pain.
People with low back pain or osteoarthritis know all too well that exercise helps make chronic pain more bearable. But there’s not a lot of research on how resistance training helps musculoskeletal pain.
To examine the benefits of strength training, the researchers trained mice to climb a ladder with small weights attached to it. Climbing ladders regularly helped increase front leg strength.
Next, the researchers injected a mild acidic solution that should create muscle pain when practice.
However, eight weeks of resistance training halted the development of muscle soreness in both male and female mice. In case of muscle pain, the team observed that the climbing exercise would help relieve the pain, but only in male mice. In addition, the exercise led to a increased testosterone in male but not female mice.
In previous studies, researchers have found a protective effect between testosterone and pain. To test its role in muscle pain, the researchers injected an androgen receptor blocking drug into some mice. Animals that received the androgen blocker experienced muscle pain. However, once the exercise-induced protective effect was there, the mice were no longer bothered by the pain caused by the androgen blocker.
The results suggest that androgen receptors are needed to protect against muscle pain. Although the study was done on mice, it could lead to more recommendations for strength or resistance training in people with AD. chronic pain.
the study is published in Painthe official journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain.