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Chronic pain could be eased by walks

SCOTS with chronic pain are being told to get more exercise as new guidelines say resting up could do more harm than good.

New advice from the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network is advising chronic pain sufferers to undergo an annual review with their GP to find better ways of managing it.

Changing up their medication and moving around more could help improve the long-term condition which affects one in every five Scots.

Health chiefs are hopeful the new guidance will help reduce the 4.6 million GP appointments used up annually by sufferers, with a price tag of £69 million.

Chronic pain is defined as a condition lasting more than 12 weeks despite treatment and is noted as one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS in Scotland.

A 23-strong team of experts has revealed new guidelines for patients and health professionals.

Research has shown undertaking light exercise such as walking and swimming can have extreme benefits by improve overall general fitness while also releasing spirit-boosting endorphins.

Dr Lesley Colvin, consultant in pain medicine at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital, who chaired the Guideline Development Group, said the recommendations should play a major part in helping patients whose lives are blighted by ongoing pain.

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