YOUR LIFE YOUR HEALTH

Walk-With-A-Doc: Managing Pain Through Regular Exercise

Jul 16, 2021, 6:16 PM | Updated: Jul 5, 2023, 10:01 am

LAYTON, Utah — Whether or not we like it, pain is part of life. But experts say lifestyle changes like nutrition, sleep, and exercise can help you manage that pain.

One mother and daughter explained how they are taking action.

Monica Carrillo and her 80-year-old mother, Maria Cisneros, share a lot in common.

“My husband says, ‘Oh, you are the same as your mom!” Carrillo said laughing. “Maybe physically, the way we think!”

And as they both get older, add aging pains to the list.

That’s why they attended Walk-With-A-Doc, an Intermountain Healthcare partnered event, where anyone can enjoy a walk and conversation with a physician like Dr. Jeremiah West who is a pain management specialist.

Cisneros has osteoarthritis and had a double knee replacement and hip prosthetic. She said she has pain all over in her shoulders, knees and back.

“The doctor asks her always, ‘Where’s your pain from 1 to 10?’ and says, ‘From 1 to 100!’ Too much pain,” Carillo joked.

Now, Carrillo is also following suit.

“I’m starting to experience the same pain to her in my back, osteoarthritis also, and in my shoulders,” she described.

Though it may feel counter intuitive, West said staying active is key to managing pain.

“Getting an exercise program and walking and using the muscles can really help actually lower your chronic pain overall,” he said, adding that it loosens stiff joints. “Then the synovial fluid, blood flow, everything increases, and you can have a lot more movement and the pain can decrease.”

West said endorphins, brought on by exercise, are a natural pain killer.

“To be able to jump in and use your dopamine and your own endorphins to stimulate those pathways instead of using an external source, such as an opioid medication,” he explained.

Both Cisneros and Carillo said exercise pays off.

“It helps a lot with my pains and they go away,” Carillo said.

“The more that you can be active and move, then in the long run, you feel better overall,” West said.

West also said exercise has cardiovascular benefits, can reduce the risk for cancer and diabetes, and can even improve someone’s mental and emotional health.

“If you could take one pill to solve a lot of maladies, exercise is that one pill,” he said.

It doesn’t need to be intense exercise, just start, West said.

“It doesn’t matter where you have been or where you’re at, as long as you start doing it, you’re gonna see the benefits,” he said. “Even a slow walk to a brisk walk is going to be just enough to get all the health benefits… Just be patient with yourself, have some self compassion, it takes time.”

He said it’s important to schedule your exercise to be consistent and look for a companion.

“Finding someone — a buddy to do it with, that’s around your same level and who’s going to kind of encourage you!” he said.

Intermountain hosts free Walk-With-A-Doc events in Layton, Salt Lake City, Park City, Orem and Moroni. Anyone is invited to participate and are encouraged to bring questions for the doctor.

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

"Way to Wellness" is a CDC-approved diabetes prevention program through Intermountain Health. The y...

Emma Benson

Intermountain program helping patients find their ‘Way to Wellness’

'Way to Wellness' is a CDC-approved diabetes prevention program through Intermountain Health. "It helps them to actually become more independent in their health," Melanie Holden, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain Health, said.

2 days ago

It's a fun way to celebrate Independence Day, but experts are reminding us: if not 
 handled proper...

Emma Benson

Fireworks safety tips for Fourth of July

It's a fun way to celebrate Independence Day, but experts are reminding us: if not handled properly, fireworks can be dangerous.

10 days ago

The new comprehensive cancer center at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden....

Emma Benson

New Intermountain cancer center brings care to northern Utah patients

When it comes to treating cancer, having access to state-of-the-art specialized care near you can make all the difference.

16 days ago

Tom Nehring practicing his punches against a punching bag with another boxer....

Emma Benson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This is medicine for me’: A Utah man is battling Parkinson’s with boxing

An interactive class is helping those effected by Parkinson’s disease by keeping them active with boxing.

23 days ago

(FILE) An audiologist preforming an a  hearing test. (KSL TV)...

Emma Benson

Listen up! The health consequences of untreated hearing loss

Around 600,000 people in Utah have hearing loss, but many may not realize they do until they're tested and how it can affect their health.

30 days ago

Kenneth Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. (Courtesy: Kenneth Applegate)...

Emma Benson

Utah dad’s journey from hypertension to health

At age 25, Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. At first, he didn't think it was a big deal, until things became more serious.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Walk-With-A-Doc: Managing Pain Through Regular Exercise