top of page

Fibromyalgia and Exercise: How Physical Activity Can Help Alleviate Pain and Fatigue

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. It can be a challenging condition to manage, but one approach that has shown promise is exercise. While it may seem counterintuitive to engage in physical activity when you are in pain and exhausted, research suggests that exercise can actually help alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia and improve overall quality of life.

Fibromyalgia is a complex and chronic pain disorder that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness. It can be a challenging condition to manage, but one approach that has shown promise is exercise. While it may seem counterintuitive to engage in physical activity when you’re in pain and exhausted, research suggests that exercise can actually help alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia and improve overall quality of life.

The symptoms of fibromyalgia can vary from person to person, and they can also fluctuate in intensity. Some common symptoms include:

  1. Widespread Pain: The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is aching and widespread pain that affects various areas of the body, including muscles, joints, and soft tissues. This pain is often described as a deep ache or a burning sensation.

  2. Tender Points: People with fibromyalgia may experience tender points at specific locations on the body, where even slight pressure can cause pain. These tender points are typically found around joints, such as the elbows, knees, hips, and shoulders.

  3. Fatigue: Persistent fatigue is another common symptom of fibromyalgia. Even after a full night’s sleep, individuals with fibromyalgia may wake up feeling inactive and continue to experience fatigue throughout the day.

  4. Sleep Disturbances: Many individuals with fibromyalgia have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restorative sleep. This contributes to the feeling of persistent fatigue.

  5. Cognitive Issues (Fibro Fog): Cognitive problems often referred to as “fibro fog,” can include difficulties with memory, concentration, and mental clarity. This can affect a person’s ability to focus and perform tasks.

  6. Headaches: Chronic headaches, including tension-type headaches and migraines, are common among individuals with fibromyalgia.

  7. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea are frequently reported by those with fibromyalgia.

  8. Sensitivity to Sensory Stimuli: People with fibromyalgia may have heightened sensitivity to light, noise, odours, and temperature changes.

  9. Numbness and Tingling: Some individuals may experience sensations of numbness, tingling, or pins and needles in their extremities.

  1. Depression and Anxiety: Fibromyalgia often coexists with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Chronic pain and other symptoms can contribute to the development of these mental health conditions.

  2. Muscle Stiffness: Muscle stiffness, especially in the morning, is a common complaint among people with fibromyalgia.

It is important to note that fibromyalgia symptoms can overlap with those of other conditions, making diagnosis challenging. If you suspect you have fibromyalgia, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional, preferably a rheumatologist, who can conduct a thorough evaluation and provide appropriate guidance and treatment options.

There are a few reasons why exercise can be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia. First, it can help improve physical fitness and flexibility, which in turn can reduce pain and stiffness. Exercise can also improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression, which are common in people with fibromyalgia. Finally, exercise can help regulate the body’s stress response, which can be dysregulated in people with fibromyalgia.

However, it is important to approach exercise for fibromyalgia with caution. Overexertion can exacerbate symptoms, so it is important to start with gentle activities and gradually increase intensity over time. A physical therapist can help develop an exercise plan that is tailored to your specific needs and abilities.

Here are some examples of exercises that may be helpful for people with fibromyalgia:

  1. Low-impact cardio: Walking, cycling, and swimming are all good options for improving cardiovascular fitness without putting too much stress on the body.

  2. Stretching and yoga: Gentle stretching and yoga can improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension.

  3. Strength training: Building strength in the muscles can help reduce pain and improve overall function. Resistance bands and light weights can be used for this purpose.

In addition to exercise, nutrition can also play a role in managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Certain foods, such as those high in sugar and processed foods, can exacerbate inflammation and pain. On the other hand, foods that are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish, can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health.

Overall, a comprehensive approach that includes both exercise and nutrition can be effective in managing fibromyalgia symptoms. With the help of a healthcare provider, it is possible to find a plan that works for you and improves your quality of life.

In the next session we are going to upload few stretching and strengthening exercises for other areas according to the joints. subscribe our youtube channel and follow us on instagram for more updates.

1 view0 comments
bottom of page