Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:
BOTTOM LINE: Likely helpful; jogging tolerable and helpful only after I embraced the mind-body connection and had already healed significantly; walking more tolerable.
In years five through six of my pain (after many John F. Barnes myofascial release [JFB-MFR] bodywork sessions had significantly decreased my pain), I tried to “jog” (or should I say “shuffle”) on a few occasions. However, my neck pain increased. The rock-hard trigger points on the sides of my neck (“Frankenstein bolts” as I called them) would cause me great pain. I still ventured out for short jogs hoping the exercise might do me some good, but the pain still increased afterwards.
Then in 2012 I read Steve Ozanich's book The Great Pain Deception. He healed himself by reading Dr. Sarno's books and was able to start jogging and playing golf after decades of pain. I went out the next day and miraculously didn't feel the wrath of the Frankenstein bolts. I focused on the parts of my body that didn't hurt (as Mr. Ozanich suggested). And it worked! I had no added pain while jogging and no added pain after! And to this day I can still jog for short distances without crumbling in pain for days after. Sometimes my pain flares up from excess activity, such as jogging for more than thirty minutes, but that is only a fraction of the time now. (I'm currently waiting and wishing for this same healing effect to reduce or eliminate the rest of my myofascial pain—see Reading about mindbody).
When I get bored with jogging (it's not my sport of choice), or if I jog for too long and spike up my pain, I replace it with walking or sometimes home exercise programs (e.g., Zumba videos at home) if I feel good enough. I still wish I could do gymnastics, but as someone who has lived five decades, I suppose that would have been an unlikely scenario anyway (although I still was doing some gymnastics at age forty).
What I've learned is that through moderate exercise I won't do further damage to my body. Since I'm still in the process of healing, I continue to exercise only in moderation because my body and subconscious mind are either still stuck expecting pain, or are very slowly adjusting to not being in pain. I assume the exercise is good for me given the extensive research on the health benefits of moderate exercise.
Another precaution I take is not to jog with others. My competitive nature still causes me to push too far and I can easily flare up my pain. When I exercise by myself I tend to listen to my body more attentively and I don't push to excess as much.