Fibromyalgia is frequently associated with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Other types of chronic pain are also frequently present. Sometimes, the signs of fibromyalgia bear close resemblance to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. At times, you may also experience general muscular discomfort accompanied by twitching, burning or a deep stabbing pain. In general, the pain and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia are of a widespread nature compared to bursitis or tendinitis that tend to be more localized in nature. Another often reported symptom is the sensation of the muscles being over worked or pulled even without exercise or a slight exertion by the person affected by the condition.
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors with half the risk attributed to each. That is to say that this condition could run in families and many genes could be involved.
Environmental factors may include psychological stress, trauma, and certain infections.
The pain appears to result from processes in the central nervous system and the condition is referred to as a “central sensitization syndrome”
With many other medically unexplained syndromes, there is no universally accepted treatment or cure for fibromyalgia, and treatment typically consists of symptom management.
Developments in the understanding of the pathophysiology of the disorder have led to improvements in treatment, which include prescription medication, behavioural intervention, and exercise.
Indeed, integrated treatment plans that incorporate medication, patient education, aerobic exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy have been shown to be effective in alleviating pain and other fibromyalgia-related symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Sometimes it really becomes difficult to understand what treatment should people take.
A treatment program may include a combination of medications, exercises — both strengthening and aerobic conditioning, relaxing and behavioral techniques.
The physical therapist may use different types of tools with fibromyalgia, which help in reducing symptoms. These include
Exercise is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. It benefits all of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, fatigue, and sleep problems.
Exercise can help maintain bone mass, improve balance, reduce stress, and increase strength. Getting regular exercise can also help control your weight, which is important to reducing the pain of fibromyalgia.
Moving your body may be the last thing you feel like doing, but you have to believe that it really does help. It’s hard at first, but it does get easier.
Whether you’re used to running marathons or you’ve never exercised, the key is to start with something small and gradually increase your activity level. Many of those with fibromyalgia need to start very slowly.
For people who aren’t used to exercising, physiotherapists focus on getting them to be more active and refrain from categorizing it asexercise.
If you were very active before fibromyalgia, you may need to learn a different approach to exercise now. Many people try to do too much too soon and then feel frustrated when their symptoms flare up.
For those who were used to being athletic, the physiotherapist often needs to teach them to listen to their body and learn to take it more slowly than they may be used to. Eventually, you will learn what level of exercise is good for you and how much is too much.
To get the maximum benefits from exercise, you really need to do it on a daily or almost daily basis. So for many people, the best options may be walking or using exercise equipment, since these are activities that are easily accessible most days of the year.
Exercising in a warm pool is another good way to start being active. Warm water has a soothing effect on muscles and joints and may make exercise less painful. Even if you start in a pool, it’s still a good idea to work towards a ground-based workout.
Cycling, running, yoga, strength training, and low-impact exercise classes are just a few other ways to get exercise and help ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia. The most important thing is to find some kind of exercise you enjoy doing.
Whether you’re walking or participating in an exercise class, these exercise tips can help prevent injury or pain:
Although exercise can improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, the effects are not always immediate. Exercise is really the best long-term treatment for the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia. But it can take up to six months before you notice a change in your symptoms.
You definitely need to be patient and work slowly. It may seem like it’s taking forever to reach your goals. But as you gradually increase your movement, you will feel better and notice a decrease in your symptoms. Exercise is the best thing to begin on your journey to wellness.
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