Fibromyalgia and Exercise

Start talking about exercise to any person with FMS or any physician that treat FMS and a debate will likely start. Most doctors feel that exercise is an important part of fibromyalgia treatment, though exactly what kind of exercise is unclear. Some say aerobic exercise is best, while others prefer weight lifting, still others like to recommend gentle stretching exercises.

Ask a person with FMS about exercise and you may hear a totally different story. Some say they are “exercise intolerant,” others do indeed exercise with no noticeable improvement in symptoms, while others find that exercise greatly decreases the amount of pain in their lives.

I began researching exercise and fibromyalgia with the thought of writing an article about the best exercises for FMS in mind. However, because the information out there is so varied and I am far from an expert in this area, I don’t feel qualified to write such an article. Instead I will provide you with links to articles on exercise and fibromyalgia and you can make your own decisions.

American Academy of Family Physicians
An Exercise Program for Fibromyalgia

“The best thing you can do if you have fibromyalgia is exercise. Begin with stretching exercises and gentle, low-impact activity, such as walking or bicycling. Start your exercise program slowly, because at the beginning, exercise may make your pain worse.”

Fibromyalgia Information from the Oregon Fibromyalgia Foundation
A fibromyalgia patients guide to exercise by Sharon R. Clark, Ph.D., FNP

“Exercise is a crucial component for managing fibromyalgia. There are many benefits to exercise. With exercise you can improve flexibility, endurance, strength, and the ratio of fat to muscle in your body.”

Gentle Exercise Regime for Fibromyalgia
“This leaflet aims to give you advice and guidelines on the role of exercise in Fibromyalgia. Research has confirmed that exercise can be beneficial to those suffering from Fibromyalgia increasing your overall level of fitness helps you to sleep better, and cope with pain and stress more effectively Endurance, or aerobic exercise done regularly helps you to get fit.”

Exercise and Fibromyalgia
-Presentation given by Angela Collins, R.P.T. and Vice President of Suncoast Rehabilitation at the April 22, 1997 support group meeting.

“Exercise is not a only a way to get stronger and to make muscles firmer. If you have Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), it is more important to get your muscles healthier!! This includes improving the mobility of your muscle fibers (reducing tightness), increasing the metabolism or oxygen flow in your muscles, improving the muscle tone and endurance.”
Exercise and fibromyalgia

“Exercise can be the most important part of home treatment for people who have fibromyalgia. It may be more helpful than anything else your doctor will prescribe. A mild to moderate exercise program is appropriate for most people with fibromyalgia.”