Exercise For Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disorder or syndrome that affects several different body systems from headaches, sleep disruptions, GI problems and the hallmark signs of muscle stiffness and joint pain.
Things like lack of sleep, hormonal surges and stress can make the symptoms worse. More women than men will suffer from the syndrome that affects up to 5% of the overall population.
One of the treatment modalities that has been proven to help reduce the perception of pain and the symptoms in sufferers is mild to moderate exercise for Fibromyalgia. While common sense may suggest that people with Fibromyalgia will have more trouble if they do exercise, studies have found that those who limit their activity have increased perception of pain.
When done correctly, exercise for Fibromyalgia will help decrease the deconditioning resulting from loss of function that people with FMS will suffer. This deconditioning means that the muscles and the heart lose their ability to function at a higher level or ‘be in shape’. This loss of condition will increase the risk to the muscles of micro-trauma from any physical activity and will then increase the symptoms.
Additionally many people with Fibromyalgia will suffer from symptoms which are worse on one side of the body than the other. This will result in muscles that are tighter with poor range of motion on one side leading to poor posture and more pain. Physical exercise for Fibromyalgia also benefits those with FMS as it will also lead to improved mental outlook during an illness or syndrome that places stress and pressure on a person’s life.
A person suffering from Fibromyalgia should begin with mild stretching exercises after getting warmed up. These stretches should be slow, without bouncing or vigorous stretching of the muscle. The goal is to keep the muscle loose and improve the range of motion of the muscles and the joints.
Exercise for Fibromyalgia should be low impact and not vigorous. Many people find that the addition of 30 minutes of walking, swimming or cycling per day can be added to their daily routine without too much disruption. As an individual progresses with their exercise they may be tempted to increase the intensity of the workout. The level of the workout should always be judged by the pain.
The old adage – no pain, no gain – isn’t an expression that really should relate to anyone who exercising. While sore muscles are normal when you start to exercise for Fibromyalgia, sharp pain is often an indication that you have overworked or injured a muscle group.
For exercise to be successfully integrated into a rehabilitation program for fibromyalgia it should be done regularly. The goal is to get started and just keep going. Pain relief and improved sleep patterns are usually just two of the benefits that sufferers report when they are regular exercisers.
Remember that the type of exercise that you choose is up to you. It’s important to do something you enjoy so you’ll continue to do it. And it’s important to monitor the symptoms of your disease. If you find that your muscle soreness and pain flares more during the day then changing the type of exercise to something more mild might be a better start for you.
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