Exercise and Persistent Musculoskeletal Pain—A Review and Recommendations for Personal Trainers

by Gary S. Stebbing, CSCS
Personal Training Quarterly October 2018
Vol 2, Issue 5

Available to:
Members only
Personal trainers
Pain Pain Management

Many personal trainers work with clients who are dealing with musculoskeletal pain that has negative consequences both on the client’s ability to exercise and their activities of daily living. This article discusses the different types of pain, and describes targeted approaches for training clients with persistent musculoskeletal pain.

Paywall block issue

This article is not configured properly for members or paid content.
isMemberOnly: {{isMemberOnly}} | isPaidContent: {{isPaidContent}}
spc: One or more parts of the product SPC is missing.

Read the full article

View the video

Login to view more

{{discountDesc}} Valid thru {{discountEnds}}

This {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}} is available with a NSCA membership

This {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}} can be purchased for {{prices}}
Price includes membership pricing and promotions

Purchase this {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}}. Price range: {{prices}}
Price range includes membership pricing and promotions

Become a Member Add to Cart Login

This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »



1. Aitken, D, Buchbinder, R, Jones, G, and Winzenberg, T. Interventions to improve adherence to exercise for chronic musculoskeletal pain in adults. Australian Family Physician 44(1-2): 2015.

2. Bidonde, J, Busch, AJ, Schacter, CL, Overend, TJ, Kim, SY, et al. Aerobic exercise training for adults with fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD012700.DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012700. 2017.

3. Crombez, G, Eccleston, C, Van Damme, S, Vlaeyaen, JWS, and Karoly, P. Fear-avoidance model of chronic pain the next generation. Clinical Journal of Pain 28(6): 475-483, 2012.

4. Daenen, L, Varkey, E, Kellman, M, and Nijs, J. Exercise, not to exercise, or how to exercise patients with chronic pain? Applying science to practice. Clinical Journal of Pain 31:108-114, 2015.

5. Gangadharan, V, and Kuner, R. Pain hypersensitivity mechanisms at a glance. Disease Models & Mechanisms 6: 889-895, 2013.

6. Helms, JE, and Barone, CP. Physiology and treatment of pain. Critical Care Nurse 28(6): 38-49, 2008.

7. Hoffman, TC, Maher, CG, Briffa, T, Sherrington, C, Bennell, K, et al. Prescribing exercise interventions for patients with chronic conditions. CMAJ 188(7): 2016.

8. Hoover, DL, VanWye, WR, and Judge, LW. Periodisation and physical therapy: Bridging the gap between training and rehabilitation. Physical Therapy in Sport 1-20, 2015.

9. International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) https:// www.iasp-pain.org/Taxonomy#Pain retrieved 08.03.2018.

10. Jones, LE, and O’Shaughnessy, DFP. The pain and movement reasoning model: Introduction to a simple tool for integrated pain assessment. Manual Therapy 19: 270-276, 2014.

11. Moseley, GL. Reconceptualising pain according to modern pain science. Physical Therapy Reviews

12: 169-178, 2007. 12. Nijs, J, Girbes, EL, Lundberg, M, Malfliet, A, and Sterling, M. Exercise therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain: Innovation by altering pain memories. Manual Therapy 20:  216-220, 2015.

13. Nijs, J, Clark, J, Malfliet, A, Ickmans, K, Voogt, L, et al. In the spine of in the brain? Recent advances in pain neuroscience applied in the intervention for low back pain. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 35(suppl 107): S108-S115, 2017.

14. Walz, AD, Usichenko, T, Moseley, GL, and Lotze, M. Graded motor imagery and the impact on pain processing in a case of CRPS. Clinical Journal of Pain 1-4, 2012.

15. Wand, BM, Parkitny, L, O’Connell, NE, Luomajoki, H, McAuley, JH, Thacker, M, and Moseley, GL. Cortical changes in chronic low back pain: Current state of the art and implications for clinical practice. Manual Therapy 16: 15-20, 2011.

About the author

Gary S. Stebbing, CSCS,*D

Contact Gary Stebbing

Contact Gary Stebbing

Your first name is required.
Your last name is required.
Your email is required.
Your message is required.
Your reCaptcha is required.

Your email was successfully sent to Gary Stebbing

Gary Stebbing is based in the United Kingdom. His primary areas of interest are building excellence and human performance design. He studied Sport and ...

View full biography
Available to:
Members only
Personal trainers
Pain Pain Management
#NSCAStrong #NSCAStrong

has been added to your shopping cart!

Continue Shopping Checkout Now