“Neurobiological and Psychological Benefits of Exercise in Chronic Pain and PTSD”
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are creating a new generation of Veterans, including an increasing number of women Veterans, who present with comorbid PTSD and chronic pain conditions from recent deployment-related physical injuries and exposure to psychological trauma. Health behavior change has become increasingly important in treating these conditions and proactively preventing long-term negative health sequelae, in order to benefit these Veterans directly and reduce the growing challenges to our healthcare system. The proposed CDA-2 program of research will use an innovative translational research approach to study whether a chronic progressive -based exercise program will reduce chronic pain in patients with PTSD and to elucidate and modify potential PTSD-related deficiencies in neurobiological and psychological responses to exercise to optimize the physical and psychological benefits of exercise for these individuals.
Behavioral - Exercise Testing and Training
Each study group will perform a baseline maximum load exercise test which will inform the individualized exercise prescription for the participant. Based on a progressive methodology, the participant will engage in 12 weeks of exercise of their choice (walking, running, cycling or swimming) with the goal of working towards a maximum heart rate range of 80% between weeks 6 and 12 of the study.
Neurobiological and Psychological Benefits of Exercise in Chronic Pain and PTSD