THE TRUTH ABOUT FIBROMYALGIA AND EXERCISE
The truth about fibromyalgia and exercise is that you can safely build an exercise practice and it will help.
I have some friends with fibromyalgia, I have worked with clients with fibromyalgia and I can tell you the truth about fibromyalgia and exercise from knowing these people. Fibromyalgia changes your life. Fibromyalgia is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects the way your brain and spinal cord process painful stimulation. Widespread musculoskeletal pain is its’ hallmark. Fibromyalgia can cause extreme fatigue, sleep and memory issues. Mood issues too and symptoms often begin after some sort of physical trauma to your body. This may be a surgery, infection or serious issues with another medical diagnosis and more women than men suffer from fibromyalgia for which there is no cure.
The information about fibromyalgia has changed over the years. It was first known as a connective tissue disease and then an autoimmune-related illness. Time and research have changed this information. Fibromyalgia is a serious painful condition that often co-exists with other serious painful conditions. These could include irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, TMJ and more.
Chronic pain syndromes begin with repeated painful nerve stimulation traveling up your spinal cord to your brain. This is why fibromyalgia research eventually became centered on the nervous system. Fibromyalgia does tend to run in families. There also may be genetic changes that make your more likely to develop fibromyalgia, but this has yet to be proven.
Often people with chronic pain do not make the connection to fibromyalgia and so I felt including basic information might be helpful. In the past doctors would examine a possible fibromyalgia patient by looking for up to 18 pain points on their body. This is no longer the method of diagnosis and now you must have had widespread pain throughout your body for at least three months including pain present in at least 4/5 areas. These areas include your left upper region (shoulder, arm, jaw) and right upper region, lower left region (hip, back, leg) and lower right region, also the axial region (neck, back, chest or abdomen) and tests are now involved the diagnosis.
Therapy can include pain relievers, antidepressants and anti-seizure meds (often used off-label for neurological illness). More recently gabapentin is used, which is an anti-seizure medication now widely used to reduce neurological pain.
The truth about fibromyalgia and exercise is that stretching more will eventually hurt less. Information for this post comes from mayoclinic.org. For practical help I visited WebMD and here you will find a great fibro-friendly exercise series. Also, A Safe Stretch is about building a slow moving, gentle stretching habit. Started is tough. It is hard to imagine how the heck you can do exercise while in so much pain all the time. I understand this completely; however, starting very slowly and carefully, building a habit of stretching and light exercise can make a huge difference. I have seen exercise result in improvement in pain and mood in people I have trained.
Lastly, I will share a fibromyalgia blog with you. Isolation is one of the most difficult parts of chronic illness. Visit chronicmom.com. This blog is the result of a very personal experience with fibromyalgia.
The truth about fibromyalgia is that like the mental illness it may carry some stigma. It has taken a long time to research and find the true causes for this illness. It has been referred to as fake. Talk to someone who experiences the pain caused by this very real disorder and your compassion will make you want to help! I hope this post is helpful to someone!
LIVEFATANDFIT AND BE WELL!