Fibromyalagia and exercise

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Redwillow, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    This is a touchy subject for me. I have FM and I am frequently told that exercise will improve my pain levels.

    The problem with this is that there is no set routine for people with FM. Everyone experiences it differently and nobody teaches exercise for fibromyalgia.

    I also wonder if the statement that exercise helps FM is said without any medical trials to back it up. Some doctor said it and then it became so.....

    Personally I know that if I do something that I enjoy I often feel better for a while. But I also can pay dearly.

    I also feel that when a physician says if you would exercise you would feel better they are blaming the patient for not being well. Puts the onus back on the patient to improve themselves!

    For myself I have tried yoga and my pain increased (this was supposed to a beginners class) But all that moving from one level to another, standing to stretch on the floor and heaven help me!! putting my feet over my head!!!! Well I admit I was desperate so I tried it but my neck didn't love me for it.

    Relaxation classes increased my pain because I was told to tense my muscles and then relax them and my muscles never relaxed again. So again an increase in pain.

    I have been told that exercise in water is wonderful. I would like to try that. But for me I have a 45 minute drive to the nearest pool and so the drive there and back would negate and benefit from the pool exercises.

    The best I have found for me is walking. But even that is extremely hard. In the summer I sweat so much and am so exhausted by the heat not to mention the bugs!!!!!! In the winter my muscles are so tense from the cold. So there seems to be a window here in Ontario Canada of about 2 weeks in the autumn and 2 weeks in the spring when the weather is perfect for me to walk! I know pretty pathetic!

    Sorry this turned out quite long. What does everyone else think? Is there some form of exercise that you do that helps your FM?

    hugs Marion (Redwillow)
  2. joanng

    joanng New Member

    I take a Body Flow class which is ti-chi (sp?), pilates and yoga. I can do the yoga and ti-chi but I struggle with the pilates. I go slow, only do what I'm comfortable with. I experimented last week with some weight training and hurt really bad for a week. Just because they say it's good for you, doesn't mean you can always do it. You certainly gave it a try. If you can walk, what about a treadmill in your home? I do know that swimming helps so it may be worth the trip. For me that would only work in the summer when it's really hot since I'm so sensitive to temperatures, the idea of even cool water makes the pain spike up in me. Every one of us is different but don't beat yourself up over it. You're trying! Good luck.
  3. Ranigar

    Ranigar Member

    I see my Rhuemy again next mo. and I dread it.Last time he told me to start aerobic exercising.This was after I said I was doing a little yoga and stretching.Get real,I never exercised regularly my entire life it's not like with all this pain from this DD I'm going to do it now.I give myself a pat on the back for having days I get chores done and run up and down the stairs all day so I 'm preparing myself for a lecture.I loved water exercise but I can't get to the Rec Center and leave Dad alone mornings.Exercise blah!!
  4. FriendonthePath

    FriendonthePath New Member

    I totally understand your mixed feelings about exercise.

    I did have one physical therapist pretty much blame FMS on lack of exercise... I knew he had to be ignorant to make such a statement, but it sure pissed me off. You're right, it kind of blames the patient.

    That said, exercise does help me. It helps my energy levels, my concentration and my sleep and generally makes me feel "better". It does not help pain. It does not help neurological symptoms such as tingling, burning and numbness.

    I have less disabilitating flares when I exercise.

    Like you, yoga was a disaster for me. Yoga is not recommended for people with overextending joints which is a condition related to FMS. Walking outside is tough on me because I have severe allergies all year round, so that didn't work either.

    I started with physical therapy in a warm pool. I drive 25 min to get there. The water has to be warm, it cannot be cool.

    Now I do water aerobics (I'm the only 38-year-old in this seniors class :)

    I have also progressed to riding a recumbant bicycle in front of the TV. This I can stick to by watching the same show every day. I started doing 20 min and I worked up to 60 min. I don't recommend this in the evening because it my case it wakes me up.

    I've heard that GENTLE Tai-Chi is helpful, I'd like to try that but have not found a class that I can attend.

    I also contribute my well-being to Trazodone which helps me sleep. Without it, I don't sleep, exercise or not.

    A food/symptom diary turned out to be very important for me. I discovered that MSG and wheat worsten my Fibro (there's a gluten/glutamate theory out there that I think is very much my case). Eating Chinese food will make me sick regardless of how much I exercise.

    Do what you can to feel better and don't beat yourself up. Even folks in the sports industry get this disease. It is not caused by lack of exercise.
  5. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    my rheumy was nice yesterday - feeling like crud lately and I said " I hope I can start walking again soon" and he said "thats easy to say, but while you are going thru this bad flare right now, it is hard to even imagine exersizing". He made me feel like he actually understood. He really does not want me exersizing until this flare is calmed down.

    Just made me feel better since they ususally say nothing but EXERSIZE, diet, etc.

    just my 2 cents.
    Hugs :)
  6. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    Thanks everyone for you comments about my love hate relationship with exercise. I was the quiet shy type in high school who always hated Physical Education classes and preferred a good book. My feelings about exercise and sport in general have never gotten any better.

    Friendonthepath: you mentioned overextended joints and FM. Can you elaborate on that? I haven’t heard that term before and when I googled it I couldn't find much.

    Hayleycole thanks for the comment that exercise is overrated. It seems for me by the time I get through all the housework I don’t have any energy to do any ‘exercise’. The physiotherapist that I went to for a while said that housework wasn’t exercise! Personally for me I think it is! Any activity for me is exercise!

    hugs Marion
  7. nerdieduckie

    nerdieduckie New Member

    My first rheumy told me that exercise was all I could do and if I didn't exercise I'd never ever get better. Well...I was never athletic to begin with, as some of you said, so I thought he was nuts. My new FM specialist just wants me to exercise so I can lose weight (which I need to do)

    Honestly anything involving water, I'm in. I love water, I love the smell of chlorine, I think I could live in a pool :p The water is very calming to me. It just is really lame now because it's becoming fall/winter and am having a hard time finding a decent indoor pool around here.

    Any other kind of exercise....bleh...I'll do leg stretches sometimes but that's it.
  8. FriendonthePath

    FriendonthePath New Member

    You probably didn't find anything cause I mis-named it (funny brain fog).

    It's called joint hypermobility or Benign Hypermobile Joint Syndrome.

    If you do a search with the words fibromylagia and joint hypermobility, you'll find a lot of interesting nuggets of info. I have been diagnosed with both and yoga can be devistating for people with hypermobile joints.
  9. nerdieduckie

    nerdieduckie New Member

    Ah, now joint hypermobility I'm familar with. I was diagnosed with that as well, but I used to take yoga and no problems. In fact it helped me to loosen up some, until the class was cancelled :-\
  10. Loveyame

    Loveyame New Member

    When I first was told I had this dd I started exercising-

    gym stuff. Made me hurt worse. Doctor said ok just walk.

    It hurt to walk. Doctor said no pain no gain walk.

    So I walked, cried and cursed the doctor.

    Hurt beyond imagation.

    Dragged my tired, sore, painful body out of bed and walked.

    Neighbors thought my dh was a @#$@#$ for making me cry.

    They saw me walking!

    My boss saw me crying at work after walking around the parking lot during my break.

    Boss Banned me from exercise.

    I told my doctor that I cut back my exercise because of boss.

    Doctor sent him a letter stating

    "Loveyame must walk to save her life.

    Therefore please encourage her to walk 10 times around the parking lot Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and each stair case 5x Tuesdays, and Thursdays. (We had 10 stair cases)

    I will be watching to see if she does these things because Lyndee is my patient and my friend.

    I want Lyndee to be a part of my life for a long time don't you?

    My boss showed me the letter! I continued with the @#$#@ exercise.

    The first 6 months was purely the @#$@#s but I had a doctor that believed I could do it. I trusted my beloved doctor and knew that if he thought I could do it then by gosh I could do it.

    I had a boss that cared. Who growled at me when I called in sick and even came to my home to take me to work and @#$#@ exercise.

    And most of all I wanted to get better.

    Those were the dark days but I did get better.

    Plus I lost 100lb that year.

    I am sick again- mainly because I have stopped exercising.

    It has taken me 3 years to get this way again but it might take more then 6 months to work through the dark days.

    I am going to start walking again. But I am waiting until after my trip to the Renassuance Fair in Kasas City the 22nd and 23rd of this month.

    So I guess you guys will be hearing me grumble and venting about @#$@#$ walking but I want to get better again!

    Plus I could stand to lose 98lb. Ha! 2 lbs less then the first time I started this!

    I know it can be done if you are stubborn and willing to hurt but only you know if it is going to be right for you.

    Hang in there!

    Love ya me
  11. beachwalkerbill

    beachwalkerbill New Member

    Male 52 FM for 16years I first started walking. Now I walk every time I’m on the cell phone. Walking lead to running. I ran a 10K this year. I started swimming years ago ….. last week I surfed hurricane Fredrick. I figure I'm going to wake up in pain any way. I have gone from a disabled stay at home dad to working full time in the best shape of my life. But assure you that it still hurts, but I would never completely stop exercise.
    Tip: Take your pain meds before you exercise in stead of after.
  12. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    coming from Manitoba Canada, I know <b>exactly</b> how you feel! If its not one thing its the other. I'd like to get a rebounder like Hayleycole has. Seems like that would be an easy way to go!

    [This Message was Edited on 09/14/2006]
  13. janferg

    janferg New Member

    Hi Marion,

    I am just starting out on this chatroom site, anyways everythng you said is soooooo true, everyone, every doctor and all of the stories in the news papers say that exercising helps people with fibromyalgia, well I am sorry to say that the people that are saying all of this, well they do not have fibromyalgia.
    I have gained weight with my fibromyalgia, and I have tried to exercise but I can never keep up with it, I am just to tired and in pain all of the time, I do get to go to the pool sometimes and when I push myself to do so, it does feel good at the time, but then it is the same pain the next day.
    By the way I have family in Ontario Canada, I went to visit them about 4 years ago, I loved it.

    Take care,
    and good luck to you,
  14. mosherpit

    mosherpit New Member

    Walking is about all I can with stand in between cleaning and chores as you mentioned. I live in Mass. and like you walking in the winter is NO about going to the mall and just walking around there?
  15. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    of 46 years, and now a sick person with fibro, ddd, chronic myofascial pain, and migraines, I feel I have a good handle on exercize and what it can and cannot do.

    By athlete, I mean 20 mile mountain bike rides in the mountains, 3-5 hour treks on my cross country skis, teaching downhill skiing for 6 hours on a daily basis. Or all day rides on my ten speed bicycle.

    Now that I am sick, I must use "mind over matter" to just get myself ready to get into the car to go to the local cross country ski track. There, I start out in excruciating pain, feel like I will throw up from the pain, and pop a vicodin.

    I start out slowly, and as soon as the vicodin kicks in, my body loosens up and I'm on my way. Sometimes I can do 16 k's like this. But, you guessed it, when I get home, I'm straight to bed, paying for the fun I had and get absolutly nothing else done the rest of the day! Sometimes I continue to pay even the next day.

    So, exercize, hmmmmmmmm..... I'd like to see the prescribing docs try it if they had these diseases. Somehow I think they'd be modifying their recommendations.

    As for yoga, I did hatha yoga daily for 25 years before I got sick, and now it hurts just to sit or lie on the floor. If the docs want us to do this, they better get us on some long acting opiates so we can overcome the pain and get the exercize!

    It's a catch 22!
    Hang in there everyone!

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