By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by painful muscles and fatigue. For those suffering from this condition, pain relief is a main goal. And research has found that contrary to previously held beliefs, it is better to move more than be sedentary if you have this disease. I’ve listed some of the best resources for help with fibromyalgia below. There are a lot of links and great articles so make sure you take a break between reading and move your body a bit!
WebMD has a great article about the impact of exercise on Fibromyalgia sufferers here. This WebMD article does a fantastic job of explaining the physical and neurological reasons that exercise helps boost endorphins and serotonin, keeps muscles strong and flexible and overall helps reduce the pain associated with the condition. The article also suggests types of exercises that are best for those with Fibromyalgia Syndrome: walking, strength training, stretching, yoga, Pilotes, swimming and tai chi are some of the exercises recommended.
An article at the ProHealth website, suggests that for some, conventional exercise may be too painful or difficult. This article provides some alternative exercise tips for those in this category here. In the article, Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS specialist Dr. Charles Lapp suggests redefining “exercise” for Fibromyalgia patients. Perhaps a better word would be “movement” or “activity.” He says the main thing is to avoid strict bed rest, which causes deconditioning, which in turn makes symptoms worse. Tips in this article include remembering to breath deeply, making an effort to move more throughout the day even if it’s to get up to get a glass or water, do slow seated stretches and take frequent breaks.
The best resource for information about Fibromyalgia is the National Fibromylagia Assocaition (NFA). Their website is here. The site has a network of support groups for people with fibromyalgia here. Online discussions are available here.
Another site with information and a community chat room about Fibromyalgia is the Fibromyalgia website here.
A new research study is described here: Behavioral therapy plus exercise may help ease fibromyalgia here.