I’ve written an article about exercise, “Exercise Strategies that Work Like Magic” that has been published by Fibromyalgia Online (http://www.fmaware.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6161). The National Fibromyalgia Association offers many resources to help people with chronic pain (http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_nfa#programs), including this free, online newsletter.
In summary, my article offers three pieces of advice for exercising:
1) Add warm-up and cool-down periods to each session of exercise. In addition, stretch at the end of a workout, when your muscles are warm. If you stretch when cold, you increase the risk of tearing your connective tissue.
2) Lower the intensity of exercise so you don’t push yourself too far.
3) Pay attention to your body and let your symptoms determine how much you do at a time.
It’s important to exercise regularly, even when you’re not feeling your best. These guidelines can help you whenever you feel less than 100% so you can stay active and avoid injury.
Many people with fibromyalgia go undiagnosed for years, so they live with muscle pain (particularly in multiple trigger points), ongoing fatigue, and sleep problems. However, more doctors are getting educated about this disease, making a quick diagnosis more likely. Also, there are specialty clinics, including the Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Center (www.fibroandfatigue.com), which offers a unique treatment methodology.
If you know someone who has the symptoms of fibromyalgia, let her know that there is help available. The National Fibromyalgia Association (www.fmaware.org) and The Arthritis Foundation (www.arthritis.org) both offer a range of services.