Walking Away From Fibromyalgia Pain

Start taking steps toward relief

Walking Away From Fibromyalgia Pain

By Fibromyalgia Connect StaffA Published at On Friday Views 1,887

The chronic pain of fibromyalgia affects about one in 50 Americans. Because this condition has no cure and its cause remains unknown, scientists continue to research the best options for fibromyalgia treatment. Living with fibromyalgia can be a challenge. But you can take steps, literally, to manage your pain.

If you have fibromyalgia with painful tender points, deep muscle pain and fatigue, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. Yet, did you know that exercise might be just what the doctor ordered?

Exercise and Fibromyalgia

A healthy and active lifestyle may help you decrease your fibromyalgia symptoms.

Studies show that second to medication, the actions most likely to relieve pain include light aerobic exercises, such as walking, and strength training. Experts believe that exercise is essential to keeping muscles strong and flexible, controlling weight and helping you stay active in other areas of life. In fact, exercise and activity allow patients to have some control over the amount of pain they feel.

Exercise acts as nature's tranquilizer by helping to boost serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain. And studies have shown a link between serotonin and fibromyalgia. Plus, exercise triggers the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones known to boost alertness.

Walking and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia patients should try to include walking as a part of their daily routine. Over time, walking significantly increases energy levels, improves sleep and allows fibromyalgia sufferers to carry out activities with lesser effort.

Many studies have demonstrated that walking at least twice a week can increase functional capacity and decrease physical limitations. Walking is a low impact exercise that puts little stress on the body. Although 30 to 60 minutes of walking per day is ideal, even a small walk provides benefits.

Benefits from walking include:

• More energy
• Weight management
• Stronger leg muscles
• Reduced stress
• Deeper, more restful sleep
• Healthier bones and joints
• Reduced risks for other health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.

Getting Started

Get started with these tips from the National Fibromyalgia Association:

• Start slowly. Think about how much more you're moving today than yesterday.
• Listen closely to your body. Don't overdo it.
• Start with just a few minutes of gentle exercise. Then work your way up each day.
• Track your progress. Note the exercise you're doing and how you feel both during and afterward.
• Stretch your muscles before and after exercise.
• Post-exercise soreness will decrease over time. Pace yourself, though, and pay attention to your body's signals.

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