Fibromyalgia and Exercise<?xml:namespace prefix =" o" ns =" "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"" />
I have had a lot of people ask me how they could exercise with their fibromyalgia. First we must define what is fibromyalgia is and how it affects the person. Webmd.com defines it as rheumatic condition. Its’ characteristics include widespread muscle, joint pain, and fatigue as well as other symptoms. Depression and social isolation often happen because of fibromyalgia. More than 12 million Americans have fibromyalgia. Women are more likely to have fibromyalgia than men; in fact they are 10 times more likely to get the disease. Now that we have a basic understanding of the disease, we can see how we can use exercise to help manage the disease.
Many individuals with fibromyalgia significantly reduce their physical activity, which in turn decreases functional capacity. Microtraumas from even light activity are more likely to occur from deconditioned muscles. In light of this, regular exercise should be a critical part of an effective treatment program for fibromyalgia. Muscular fitness (strength and endurance), Balance, coordination, and range of motion improvements are promoted with exercise and server to reduce the functional disability associated with fibromyalgia.
While exercise is important for managing fibromyalgia and its related symptoms, proper instruction regarding the frequency, intensity, duration, and type of activity is essential to prevent exacerbation of symptoms. Many suffers of the disease do not exercise because of prior painful experiences related to improper exercise programming.
Muscle is an active, living tissue which shortens, and then stiffens, and progressively loses function when not used. Fibromyalgia suffers can ill-afford to adopt a sedentary life style, despite the muscle pain and fatigue that encourage inactivity. The “no pain, no gain” mentality should not be applied to individuals that suffer from the disease. An “active relaxation” exercise program should be the focus and not “sport conditioning”. Programs should be designed to promote health and wellness, not athleticism.
Fibromyalgia suffers should use very light weights, elastic resistance bands gravity for resistance training. Proper exercise technique should be emphasized, keeping resistance loads at a minimum. People with the fibromyalgia should participate in a variety of activities (i.e. walking or swimming) to avoid stressing the same muscles and joints repeatedly. Suffers should also participate in a static stretching program to enhance and maintain flexibility and joint mobility. During periods of severe flare-ups, reducing exercise intensity or duration, or even resting is acceptable.
There are many resources for people who suffer from fibromyalgia:
-National chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia association.
-Fibromyalgia Alliance of America
Also spending time with a quality personal trainer with a personal trainer can help you to manage your disease.
In Good Health,