There’s nothing compared to the widespread pain of fibromyalgia. For me, it’s the burning sensation along my spine, the feeling of stabbing needles in my feet, and the constant aching of my shoulder muscles. That’s just the fibro pain, that’s not including arthritis and a lower back problem.
Chronic pain, especially fibromyalgia, is a commonly misunderstood diagnosis. Doctors are quick to throw prescriptions at you but the best way to combat the pain is a mixture of medicine, logging what causes flare-ups, alternative therapies, and exercise!
Exercise is an excellent strategy to reduce the debilitating pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia. Inactivity can worsen your pain and your fatigue, believe it or not. There are many different types of exercise that have been proven to help fibro so we will discuss the best of these!
Exercise for fibro sufferers can be daunting. It can cause fibro flare-ups if you don’t take precautions to protect yourself and you’ll never want to exercise again. You must keep active to keep yourself from being depressed and giving up. I’ve created a helpful list to adhere by to make your exercise experience more comfortable.
- Start with just short durations of exercise a few times a week. It’s best to start at a lower physical activity than your body is used to so after a few weeks you can build yourself up. Before you know it, you’ll be above and beyond where you started, practising almost every day.
- Before you start exercising, do a few simple stretches. It will wake your muscles up and wake you up. Stretching before a workout won’t help you avoid injury, but it will make your workout so much easier. Just make sure it’s a light stretch. You don’t want to injure yourself by pulling a muscle that hasn’t been worked recently. Stretch after you exercise as well so you won’t be super stiff the rest of your day.
- Master of your breathing while you exercise. Deep breathing through your nose will open up your lungs and it will keep your heart rate from sky rocketing. Exhale on the moves that require the most exertion.
- Hold your stomach muscles tight during any workout you choose. This is called isometric toning. Isometric toning will strengthen abs and even burn calories. That’s a great amount of benefit for little effort!
- Feel free to take breaks between workouts. You don’t want to overdo yourself and feel tortured the next day.
- Consistency is key. However, if you are having a flare up, don’t feel guilty for sitting out for the day. There’s only so much you can do.
I’ve found that yoga is the better method for me. It’s a light workout and I always end my poses feeling refreshed and accomplished. Yoga slowly builds up your strength, flexibility, and helps fight stress. Yoga also helps to improve your sleeping habits. This is something that those with fibromyalgia fight with every night. There are great yogis on YouTube that specialize in yoga poses specifically for those with fibromyalgia.
- Find a nice quiet place in your home to lay your yoga mat. You don’t want to be distracted while practising your poses.
- Follow the yoga poses as close as possible in order to maintain your balance. Proper posture is a must.
- You want to feel a slight pull on your muscles, but if it hurts, you are overstretching.
- Use a cushion or a pillow when you kneel for extra comfort!
Doctors use to believe that strength training could damage the muscles in those with fibromyalgia but recently that thought has been thrown out the window. Weaker muscles need more exertion to do even the simplest tasks compared to strong muscles. Strength training can be critical for those with fibro. It will assist with muscle aches, energy, and stiff joints.
- Strength training shouldn’t include heavy weight lifting for fibro patients. This roughness on your body can do more harm than good.
- Ensure you do an exercise for all the major parts of your body, such as your legs, arms, back, and stomach.
- Use resistance in your training. You don’t need any fancy equipment to implement resistance; you can use your body or an item around your house to help. Don’t worry about how much you’re lifting, instead, worry that you’re lifting regularly.
Aerobics is one of the most highly accepted forms of exercise for fibromyalgia patients. It gets your pulse going and your blood circulating. Your sleep quality will improve and you will be less likely to wake up throughout the night.
- Water Aerobics is another form of exercise that’s easier on your body. Also, water exercises have helped numerous people with fibromyalgia. Water will also offer a form of resistance that you can include in your strength training! That’s double points for you!
- Water makes harder exercises much easier but you still want to be careful on overexerting yourself.
- Walking is another great way to get aerobically active. The great thing about walks is that any pace is great! I like to walk with a friend, it keeps your mind off the pain and before you know it, you’ve walked longer than you intended.
Don’t get discouraged with your fibromyalgia diagnosis. There are numerous ways to fight all the strange and dispiriting symptoms that go along with such a complicated disease. You shouldn’t always rely on medication and doctors to answer your every question and to cure all your problems. It takes dedication and experimentation to help relieve your pain and fatigue.
Exercise is an excellent way to put up a fight. You don’t even have to implement all these types of exercise into your regimen. Do what works best for you and whatever you do, don’t give up!