Listen to Your Body

Listen to Your Body

Fibromyalgia pain and weakness can make it tougher to exercise as hard as you'd like. But you don't have to quit. Instead, take it slowly. Listen to your body, take breaks when you need to, and give yourself time to recover after you exercise.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia

Symptoms: Fatigue, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, headache, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, tenderness, joint tenderness, all over pain, tender points

Triggers:

Treatments:

Categories: Exercise

Duration

7

Get Back in Shape

If pain and stiffness have kept you from exercising for a few months -- or longer -- it might take a while to get back in shape. Take it slowly, do only as much exercise as you can handle, and rest in between sessions. Your muscles may be a little sore after you exercise, but that should pass in a day or two. If your pain gets worse, then back off and just continue with gentle stretching and range of motion exercises for a few days. Then check with your doctor before starting up again. A physical therapist or exercise therapist can also help to develop a good exercise schedule for you.

Prompt: Expect the aches.

CTA: You may be a bit achy at first.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia

Symptoms: Stiffness, aching, burning, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, tenderness, joint tenderness, all over pain, tender points

Triggers: Excess activity, exercising, overdoing it

Treatments: Exercise, muscle strengthening, stretching, tai chi, yoga, aerobic exercise, balance exercises, lifting weights, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises, resistance training, strength training, swimming, walking

Categories: Exercise

Stop and Rest

Don't try to push yourself too hard when you exercise. You'll only end up making your pain worse, or dropping out of your program because it's too hard. Go at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Stop and rest whenever you need to -- even if it's every few minutes. If you have a flare, it's OK to take few days off. The important thing is to stick with your program and keep moving.

Prompt: Take breaks.

CTA: Pace yourself while exercising.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia

Symptoms: Fatigue, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, all over pain, tender points

Triggers: Excess activity, exercising, overdoing it

Treatments: Exercise, muscle strengthening, stretching, tai chi, yoga, aerobic exercise, balance exercises, lifting weights, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises, resistance training, strength training, swimming, walking

Categories: Exercise

Rewards for Exercise

Take good care of yourself after each workout. Soothe sore muscles by taking a warm shower or bath. Reward yourself for achieving your fitness goals! Buy something special, get a massage, or watch a movie with friends. Feeling better in the long run will be the best reward.

Prompt: Pamper yourself.

CTA: Take time after exercise.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia

Symptoms: Pain, tenderness, stiffness, muscle pain, aching, burning, muscle pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, joint tenderness, all over pain, tender points

Triggers: Excess activity, exercising

Treatments: Massage, heat therapy, rest, over-the-counter drugs, hot bath/shower, ice, sauna

Categories: Exercise

Try a New Routine

Whether or not you exercised before you got fibromyalgia, you may not be able to work out now as often or as vigorously as someone who doesn't have fibro. And that's OK.  It doesn't mean you have to give up your fitness goals. Ask your doctor to help you adapt exercises to your new abilities. Over time you'll start to learn what you can and can't do. Go slowly, and gradually your fitness level will improve.

Prompt: Can you do it?

CTA: Finding exercises to fit you now.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia

Symptoms: Fatigue, weakness, stiffness, aching, burning, headache, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, tenderness, joint tenderness, all over pain, tender points

Triggers: Excess activity, exercising, overdoing it

Treatments: Exercise, muscle strengthening, stretching, tai chi, yoga, aerobic exercise, balance exercises, biking, lifting weights, Pilates, range-of-motion exercises, resistance training, strength training, swimming, walking

Categories: Exercise

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on July 02, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Fontaine, K. Arthritis Research & Therapy, March 30, 2010.

Lynne Matallana, president and founder, National Fibromyalgia Association.

Daniel Clauw, MD, professor of anesthesiology and medicine; director, Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Kim D. Jones, PhD, FNP, RNC, associate professor, Oregon Health and Science University School of Nursing, Portland.

Fibromyalgia Information Foundation: “Top 10 Principles for Prescribing Exercise in Fibromyalgia.”

American Academy of Family Physicians.

Arthritis Foundation: "Exercising with Fibromyalgia."

Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center: "Yoga for People with Arthritis."

National Fibromyalgia Association.

National Fibromyalgia Research Association.

News release, Oregon Health and Science University.

Richards, S., and Scott, D. British Medical Journal, July 2002.

University of Illinois at Chicago National Center on Physical Activity and Disability.

University of Michigan Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.

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