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How to exercise when you have fibromyalgia pain?

Updated on May 9, 2015

What kind of exercise is good for fibromyalgia symptoms?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue and depression. Athough there is no cure, fibromyalgia symptoms can be decreased with several types of treatment measures, including exercise. If fact, exercise may be the most important thing you can do for your fibromyalgia symptoms.

Exercise can help derease pain, increase muscle strength, improve fatigue and help depression. Exercise can also help with balance and constipation, which you also get when you have fibromyalgia.

Exercise may be the most important treatment measure to decrease symptoms of fibromyalgia. There are some little known facts that you should know to help you with exercising if you have fibromyalgia:

The key to exercise is moderation:

If you have fibromyalgia, the last thing you want to do is jump into an exercise program. But, fibromyalgia symptoms can be decreased with just a moderate amount of exercise. You should start very slow, and work your way up if you suffer from fibromyalgia.

Start with some light stretching. Fibromyalgia is painful and stretching can help loosen up your muscles and ease some of the pain. Take it slow when you are stretching. Hold a stretch for a few seconds to a few minutes to get a good stretch.

Don't go out your first day of exercise and jog 3 miles. Start with walking, and slowly increase until you can jog a short distance. This may takes months. Just don't give up and you will feel the symptom relief.

A half hour may be too much:

As little as six minutes of exercise a day can help decrease the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia. Sometimes six minutes are all you feel like doing, and that's ok because it is effective. Stretching may be the best exercise you can do for fibromyalgia if you are only exercising for a short time.

It all depends on if your fibromyalgia is mild, moderate or severe. The more severe your symptoms are, the more careful you need to be with exercise. Start out slow and work your way up slow, but don't work your way up to too much or you can actually cause more pain, stiffness and fatigue than what you had to begin with.

Exercise in warm water:

You need to do gentle stretching to start, preferably in a warm tub, shower or pool. The water temperature should be at least 91 degrees or as warm as you can stand it. Move your extremities, stretch out your muscles or just move around as much as you can, gently, in the warm water. This can really help loosen the tight muscles of fibromyalgia.

Remember to hold your stretches to get the most benefit from the fibromyalgia pain. The warm water will help you stretch and hold the positions with minimal pain.

Try Tai-chi:

Tai-chi, and yoga, are exercise technigues that use slow, low impact exercises to strengthen and loosen weak, sore and tight muscles. They both use some form of meditation, that with fibromyalgia, may help memory loss and problems with concentration and even insomnia.

A study involving 21 participants with fibromyalgia, were used to investigate the effects of tai-chi on improvement of fibromyalgia symptoms and the quality of life. The study found that those that completed the tai-chi study, had significant improvement of their symptoms and also an improvement in their quality of life.

Progressive exercise:

A pilot study done on 15 women with fibromyalgia, showed an exercise program with progressive strength training and cardiovascular training can be a safe, well tolerated and effective way of improving muscle strength, cardiovascular function and general functioning status in fibromyalgia without exacerbating symptoms.

Basically, if you have fibromyalgia, you should be exercising on a regular basis. Lifting heavy weights and bouncing around, swinging your arms and kicking with your legs will get you nowhere fast. Start with some gentle stretching and a short walk and slowly do more every week. Just remember, when you feel like the exercise is causing your symptoms to increase, back off a little until the symptoms go away, then stay at that level.

Fibromyalgia can be helped with exercise, but you must be careful of what kinds of exercise you do and also how much you do. Once you find a level of exercise that is beneficial to your symptoms, stick to that routine and reap the benefits of exercise.



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    • freefogging profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Florida

      The medical community is not certain as to what causes fibromyalgia. They do think that it may be caused by physical trauma. They think mine was caused by multiple physical trauma re: multiple surgies.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      What is the causes of fibromyalgia?


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