FIBROMYALGIA AND EXERCISE
Fibromyalgia is one of the many painful disorders around and also one of the most misunderstood as well as misdiagnosed syndromes by medical professionals. It is so hard for people to get the help needed for the relief of the many symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Pain which is oftentimes severe can really debilitate a person to the extent that the individual cannot maintain a job or a normal lifestyle for that matter. To make matters worse there are a few doctors who don’t take this disorder very seriously making fibromyalgia more like a neuropsychiatric ailment instead of the real neurological syndrome it actually is.
Finding relief for fibromyalgia is not easy as one might think. This disorder is not easily diagnosed which that alone can be up to several years by the time the doctors rule out the other diseases and ailments that tend to either mimic or link up with fibromyalgia. I feel for the patients who must undergo a raft of tests and examinations only to be told that it’s all in their head. I pity the doctor if I was told that.
WAYS TO FIND RELIEF
Medications are naturally sought after for the relief of the pain. Just remember to check with your doctor before taking anything orally, after all, you don’t want to hurt yourself trying to help yourself. Vitamin supplements were once thought to help deficiencies of vitamin D but studies show no improvement in fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture has also been studied for relief of fibromyalgia pain and there again the studies show just a mild improvement but nothing drastic. Some sufferers do declare that acupuncture works for them, however, so try it and see what you think.
A gentle massage is still another way to relax and loosen those tight muscles that feel painful. Best done by a specially trained physical therapist that understands fibromyalgia for what it is, this might be the ticket for some much needed relief. If the massage does cause pain please stop.
Capsaicin which comes from the pepper plant has been in use for aches and pains and sometimes may provide pain relief for fibromyalgia patients. It can be found in creams and ointments and applied topically to the muscles. Keep in mind that it doesn’t work for everybody.
There are alternative forms of finding relief. One is chiropractic manipulation. Adjusting, manipulating and realigning the muscles to relieve the pain, improve function and promote natural healing are the goal and might be temporary but it sure feels good.
Another alternative medicine is the melatonin hormone therapy. Melatonin, a natural hormone, is often used for treating sleep disorders and since that is one of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia; it too is used to help promote sleep and aid in reducing the fatigue in fibromyalgia. Studies are inconclusive on this however.
HOW ABOUT EXERCISE?
The mere mention of the word exercise and some people will automatically say no. The fact is that to keep moving does ease the amount of pain. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or extreme. In fact the milder the better, so get going and feel better.
The benefits of exercise cannot be overrated. Besides losing some weight, muscles get toned, stress gets relieved and it also helps in preventing disease. Exercise improves self-esteem and confidence by giving the patients control over their condition. Besides a positive outlook exercise also improves sleep which can reduce insomnia that often accompanies fibromyalgia. Exercise also improves alertness by reducing fibro-fog, increasing energy and mobility by reducing muscle stiffness and lessening joint pain. Indeed a well-rounded exercise program can really be an improvement for fibromyalgia sufferers.
TYPES OF EXERCISE FOR FIBROMYALGIA
When choosing exercise it is important to know your limitations and to start slowly. A few stretches and not holding them past three seconds would be good. If at any time you feel pain, stop. Yoga and Tai Chi may help in this area and also would improve flexibility.
Swimming or aquatic exercises are fabulous because they don’t put any pressure on the body. Another low intensity exercise is walking or cycling. I have a recumbent stationary bike and it works wonders on me. I walk a lot better if I cycle every day and I don’t have as much pain either.
Sometimes gardening works well for a person. It really depends on how severe the pain is. Weight training can be done too. Remember to start slowly.
It is very important to set a goal when you start to exercise. What you want to achieve won’t happen overnight and to help stay motivated is key to succeed. Choose an exercise you enjoy doing, listen to some music while exercising, exercise with a friend because two is always better than one and keep track of your progress. Stop when you need to rest and don’t overdo it. Exercise can bring new life to someone with fibromyalgia.