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Fibromyalgia Exercises: Work Out Chronic Pain

May 15, 2017 in Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia can be a crippling and debilitating condition that leaves you feeling like you simply can’t live a normal life. The truth is, while it may be uncomfortable at first, one of the best ways to treat and manage the chronic localized pain of FMS is to engage in specific regular workouts.

All it takes is making a couple tweaks to common exercises, and you’ll find that your pain and stiffness abates, your energy boosts, and your mood improves. As a side benefit, you’ll sleep better! Perform these fibromyalgia exercises to help manage and control the FMS pain you feel, as well as learn about living a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Fibromyalgia Exercises

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that before beginning any exercise routine, especially one designed to treat chronic pain, the last thing you want to do is make your condition worse.

Controlling FMS depends generally on a multi-pronged approach that includes exercise, medication and physical therapy as well as procedures like massage and TENS therapy. The real key to improving your quality of life is to incorporate movement.

There are a number of specific fibromyalgia exercises you can perform to treat your condition, but there are also general forms of activity that can help, including walking, stretching, strength training, yoga and just performing everyday activities like gardening or sweeping the floor.

Best Practices for FMS Exercises

Since you’re working to treat a chronic condition, it’s important to keep your pain in mind and do it right. This means you should exercise every day, but do your exercises in short bursts rather than marathons. Shorten your motion range and don’t push yourself too much.

Try to keep your moves low-stress. Any moves you make that cause your pain to get worse, tweak them to reduce the pain. If you’re going to engage in stretching, it’s best to do it after your exercise rather than before. Finally, plan your day out to help manage your pain. Do the harder work in the morning and then take a break to rest.

Specific Exercises

There are specific exercises that have been shown to improve the symptoms of FMS and improve the quality of life for those who suffer with this condition.

1. Range of Motion

Gentle range of motion and stretching exercises are excellent for FMS. Make slow and circular motions with each joint, starting at the feet and working up, until you can move easily. When you stretch, focus on big groups of muscles — the calves, the hips, the thighs, the shoulders, the lower back. Do this two to three times weekly, and as always, pay attention to your body. Stop if it hurts.

2. Aerobics

We’re not talking Richard Simmons, but if that helps, then by all means do it! Rather, however, we mean just any sort of aerobic exercise like walking, jogging, biking and swimming. Walking is often the easiest for FMS sufferers.

3. Swimming

Working out in a pool has been proven to carry a range of health benefits, including easing FMS pain. Warm water can be very soothing on the joints and muscles as well as offering support and reducing exercise impact. In fact, the Journal of Physical Therapy Science has published research that this is superior to working out in a gym or at home.

4. Light Strength Training

Light strength training using low weight that focuses on range of motion can help to lower pain and reduce symptoms of depression. You can use isometrics to tense and relax your muscles without the weights. Speak with a trainer to get advice on how to perform these exercises.

5. Yoga and Tai Chi

Both yoga and tai-chi are excellent for improving range of motion, loosening muscles and treating FMS pain.

Not only are these exercises outstanding for treating your chronic pain, they’re also great for helping you live a healthier, fitter lifestyle overall. For other methods to help reduce and ease your pain, read the article Fibromyalgia: This is Everything You Need to Know or visit Dr-HO'S Fibromyalgia page.

More Fibromyalgia Content and Information

Fibromyalgia: This is Everything You Need to Know

Fibromyalgia Causes: Where Did This Pain Come From?

Fibromyalgia Causes: Evidence That It’s Not Just In Your Head

Fibromyalgia Symptoms: How Do I Know If I Have Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Diet: What to Eat & What to Avoid as a Fibromyalgia Sufferer

Fibromyalgia Exercises: Work Out Chronic Pain

The Fibromyalgia Exercise Plan

Fibromyalgia Tender Points: Where Does It Hurt?

Why is Fibromyalgia More Common In Women?

Sources:

  1. Healthline. “Best Exercises for Fibromyalgia.” http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-exercises-for-fibromyalgia-pain
  2. Prevention. “5 Best Workouts for Chronic Pain.” http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/best-workouts-chronic-pain-and-fibromyalgia
  3. Sevimli, Dilek, et. al. “The effects of aquatic, isometric strength-stretching and aerobic exercise on physical and psychological parameters of female patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 27 (6) 1781-1786. Jun 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499983/
  4. WebMD. “Fibromyalgia-Friendly Exercises.” http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/ss/slideshow-fibromyalgia-friendly-exercises
  5. WebMD. “Treating Fibromyalgia Pain: Fibromyalgia Exercise, One Step at a Time.” http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia-pain-10/fibromyalgia-exercise-one-step-time
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