What is Fibromyalgia?


Fibromyalgia syndrome is a collection of symptoms that differs from person to person but there is one thing that all FMS patients have and that is pain.

How is exercise good for Fibromyalgia?

Exercise has been shown to help people to cope better with FMS symptoms but, you have to get the right type and the right amount otherwise is can make it worse.

What exercise can I do?

The goal for exercise should be that you are not causing your body more stress which means that any exercise that leaves you close to exhaustion won’t do you any good! You don’t need to punish your body but instead find an activity that you enjoy and makes you feel relaxed without depleting your energy reserves. Your recovery ability from physical activity is probably going to be lower than people without FMS.

  • Choose low impact exercise such as swimming, aqua classes, cycling, walking, yoga, Pilates and your own body weight for resistance.
  • For chronic cases, Stevenage Lifestyles have an anti-gravity treadmill which supports the user with air taking the stress off of joints (contact healthyhub@sll.co.uk for more details).
  • Start slowly and build up the time you work out for gradually.
  • Make a note of how you felt the next day. If you were exhausted and the pain was worse than normal it probably means that you over did things or the activity wasn’t right for you. Don’t forget, a certain amount of soreness is to be expected after exercise, this is completely normal.
  • Try Trigger point and foam roller therapy, this can be very beneficial.
  • Whatever activity you choose to do, don’t push yourself too hard, if you are struggling, slow down. If you are having a flare-up or your stress levels are up, miss the session that day and see how you feel tomorrow.

Nutrition for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain and fatigue, there is no cure but many people have found that eating a healthy diet makes a difference, especially when choosing foods that are ant-inflammatory.

  • Eat at least five portions of fruit and veg a day. If you don’t like to eat them you could try making a smoothie with them.
  • Vitamin D -this can be obtained through sunlight in spring and summer and it can be obtained through diet. In the winter months it is a good idea to take a supplement to top it up.
  • Vitamin K helps make bone and cartilage.
  • Olive oil is an anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants, one of which is oleocanthal which works like ibuprofen in the body.
  • Calcium- This is important for building strong bones. Calcium can be found in the following foods: dairy, green leafy veg, sesame seeds, dried figs, apricots, tofu, soya drinks, soya beans, nuts, calcium enriched cereals and fish such as sardines and pilchards.
  • Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatories which have been proven to significantly reduce pain for people with arthritis.

If you would like to be more active but you are not sure what to do, our exercise referral specialist instructors can help guide you. Call your nearest centre and ask for more details about joining our exercise referral schemes.

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