Endorphins & Pain Relief

Endorphins & Pain Relief

Endorphins & Pain Relief

Endorphins are known as the body’s “feel good” chemicals. You may have also heard endorphins be referred to as “nature’s pain relief,” as they activate the body’s opiate receptors, which causes an analgesic and sometimes even “euphoric” effect. Narcotic medications used for pain, such as codeine, morphine, and oxycodone, work by mimicking the body’s natural endorphins.

When Are Endorphins Released

Endorphins are released by the pituitary gland of the brain. We mostly hear about endorphins when referring to the “runners-high,” which is often experienced by distance runners or endurance athletes after prolonged exercise. Some of these athletes may even experience a sense of euphoria from the release of endorphins.

Aside from exercise, endorphins can also be released by the body while engaging in pleasurable activities such as massage therapy or sexual intercourse. On the other hand, the body may naturally release endorphins as a way to help a person cope with emotional stress or excruciating pain.

At Stridewell Same-Day Spine Clinic, our spine specialists often encourage those suffering with chronic pain to engage in certain exercise routines. Aside from becoming healthier, the endorphin release produced from regular exercise may work to alleviate some of the discomfort caused by chronic pain. Stridewell Tips

Endorphins To Alleviate Chronic Pain

In addition to creating the “feel good” effect or even making a person feel euphoric, endorphins are also effective at making us feel less pain. If you have ever felt pretty terrible before going for a walk or making to the gym, and then suddenly felt much better afterwards, you can give credit to endorphins! For this reason, being inactive when suffering from pain will often times work against you. Instead of lying around or spending hours per day in your favorite recliner, be sure to speak with a medical professional or physical therapist about which exercises are best and safest for your condition. Once you have their recommendations, make a commitment to regular exercise. In addition to being active, you could also try and decrease your pain by engaging in other endorphin boosting activities such as acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, and yoga.

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