Exercise as therapy: its surprising p... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Exercise as therapy: its surprising potential to treat people with multiple chronic conditions.


Hundreds of millions of people of all ages worldwide live with two or more chronic conditions – commonly defined as multimorbidity. Those living with it are found to have poorer physical and mental health, higher risk of being admitted to hospital, and higher risk of dying prematurely compared to people with only one chronic condition.

Given that the number of people living with multimorbidity is only expected to rise in the future, finding better treatments is considered the next major health priority. But despite multimorbidity being a leading cause of disability, research on treatments are still in its infancy. Few studies have investigated treatment options – and unfortunately the results of these studies most often offer negligible improvements.


2 Replies

I have a number of pain syndromes, plus severe osteoarthritis and not forgetting COPD. Whilst I agree exercise can help as part of a treatment it is far from a complete answer. Sadly a number of doctors believe exercise in itself is many ways a cure. " You need to do Tai Chi"which when you cannot balance and have had a number of falls makes you wonder if the doctor as looked at your notes or really understands your problems. I went on a pain management course over a eight week period which combined both physical and psychological aspects of treatment. The course looked at everything from exercise, to goal setting to medications and all on the course found it of benefit.

I have about 5 issues going on chronic + The trouble is with multiple health issues, in helping to treat manage one can be unhelpful for another health issue.

Exercise generally is good for all illnesses and more important as we age, we do tend not to do as much exercise as when younger and often the illness itself can prevent or restrict exercise, as in pain and breathlessness.

I go along with Badbessie re tai chi and qi gong, for those who are restricted this form of exercise can help maintain, fitness, strength and mobility and starting gently at beginners these are fairly easy to achieve and maintain, at home and outside, but particularly good to do during the winter months or when weather conditions are not suitable to be out in.

Mental health care is just as important of course and there are many free on-line courses people can do, but so many other things that can take care of this as well.

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