Fibromyalgia and Exercise: The Jury Is In!

Fibromyalgia is a frustrating disease for many patients and physicians since drug treatments seem to provide little benefit. As studies accumulate, hopefully this translates into better treatments for patients.

One treatment that has been studied extensively is supervised aerobic exercise and strength training. In 2007, the prestigious scientific review group called Cochrane (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007;4:CD003786) reviewed the available evidence regarding exercise for patients with fibromyaglia. They concluded, “There is ‘gold’ level evidence (www.cochranemsk.org) that supervised aerobic exercise training has beneficial effects on physical capacity and FMS [fibromyalgia] symptoms.” But have you started working out yet? Is aerobic exercise and strength or resistance training part of your daily routine? If not, why not?

Many patients may need a personal trainer or a skilled doctor of chiropractic who will help you to work around your injuries and help to keep you motivated, on track, and accountable. If you’ve sprained your low back in the past, this can severely limit your ability to exercise pain-free. The spine IS the core of the body so it needs to be flexible and healthy for you to exercise effectively over the long-term. Taking drugs to cover up the pain while you train can lead to further injury. You need to listen to your body to know when to slow down and take it easy. Muscle pain is inevitable with exercise. Joint pain is another story and needs to be avoided.

Adding chiropractic care to your active lifestyle can help keep you going as embark on this new and hopefully long journey.

For others, long-term inactivity has led to weight gain that needs to come down first before hitting the gym. When weight-loss is occurring, it is hard to repair muscle strain, so it is very easy to over-train which usually results in the patient quitting their new program

Exercising while you are excessively overweight will often lead to failure and injury to your knees or spine. So it is important to proceed with caution. Don’t enter a marathon tomorrow. I want you to start right to ensure the best chances for success.