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A New Study Finds Exercise Can Decrease Fibromyalgia Pain

By HERWriter
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A new study about physical activity and fibromyalgia echoes what many in the medical and fitness fields have known for quite a while. The study found that short bursts of physical activity can be beneficial in calming the symptoms of the debilitating disease.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a chronic disorder that causes repeated pain to the muscles and joints. Often times, those who suffer from fibromyalgia remain inactive with fears of worsening their symptoms.

The study was published this week in the Arthritis Research & Therapy publication and was conducted at John Hopkins University School of Medicine. It focused on Lifestyle Physical Activity or what study facilitator, Professor Kevin Fontaine refers to as LPA. LPA encompasses moderate-intensity physical activity found in everyday activities such as stair climbing, working in the garden and merely walking. The participants were instructed to do these activities at a perceived exertion where they breathed a little more heavily, but not to the point where they could no longer carry on a conversation.

The goal was to complete 30 minutes of exercise in two-to-three minute increments over the course of a day. Those who were given the exercises in the study, increased their activity by an average of 54-percent. Consequently, they also reported a decrease in pain and fatigue as to those who remained sedentary.

I myself have dealt with clients in the past who suffer from fibromyalgia. For those suffering from the disease, it is important when venturing into an exercise program to be mindful of doing a combination of stretching and also taking breaks when needed until your body reaches a level of tolerance.

It is also important to recognize that you’re going to have good days and bad days. Some days, maybe all you’ll be able to accomplish is some light stretching or a gentle yoga class. According to Fibromyalgiaexercise.net the greatest benefit of exercise is from Yoga. They say that Yoga will help you realize “increased flexibility, stimulation to organs and glands, increased blood flow, and decreased pain.”

Add a Comment6 Comments

Great, now if I could only find the energy to get out of bed.

October 28, 2010 - 10:17am
EmpowHER Guest

i think pilates has helped me the most with fibromyalgia. i also use feldenkreiss classes to help with the neurological-body connections. this is a terrible disease. i wouldn't have been able to exercise at all if i didn't take xyrem for sleep. i also use voltaren gel for the foot pains that i have so often.

May 24, 2010 - 7:22pm

It's good to know that a big name like John Hopkins is researching this painful condition. I'm encouraged that some have found that mini-bouts of exercise would help so thanks for the article. Regular exercise just isn't part of my day. Trying to do something, anything is all the goal I can handle. I just push myself as hard as I can and try to work through the pain. I guess I'm trying to find my limits. I really need to look into yoga.

May 12, 2010 - 2:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

If you have fibromyalgia, this study suggests that you may be able to lessen your pain and improve how much you can do physically by adding short bursts of activity to your day. You might find this an appealing approach to exercise, although we don’t yet know whether it helps with fibromyalgia symptoms as much as regular exercise. Still, you might consider adding in more brief bouts of activity, whether this means rolling up your sleeves for 10 minutes of gardening, or bypassing the elevator for the stairs.

April 27, 2010 - 7:02am
EmpowHER Guest

Wow....what breaking news!!!! Moderate exercise helps Fibro....stop the presses.

April 5, 2010 - 6:52pm

I was diagnosed with fibro in 1992 and would have flare ups whenever I moved.Walking was about all I could tolerate and even then would take a whole day to recover.Last year I began taking Lyrica and quickly gained 50 lbs.I started exerciseing again 6 months ago with the Wii, mostly with the balancing. I have yoga in the past and am slowly adding that to my regiment. Please be aware of the effects of the drugs for this condition.Hope this someone. Namaste

April 1, 2010 - 2:11pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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