Back pain and neck pain from fibromyalgia are often accompanied by tiredness and other muscle aches and pains. This can make it especially difficult to get enough exercise to maintain other aspects of health. Although fatigue is hard to overcome, research suggests that resistance training for fibromyalgia relief may be particularly beneficial.
As far as treatments for fibromyalgia relief go, exercise is an easily accessible option with minimal, if any, side effects and zero impact on your wallet. There are millions of people with fibromyalgia in the US, many of whom rely on costly medications to get through each day. What if heading to the gym could offer a non-pharmaceutical therapy for fibro pain?
In addition, a recent breakthrough guide that claims to cure Fibromyalgia exists. We haven’t tried it yet, but we’ve read a lot of testimonials about it and have a feeling that it might help. If you decide to try it, we’d love to hear your feedback regarding your experience and the results. Click here for more details about the Fibromyalgia breakthrough guide.
Resistance Training for Fibromyalgia
Physical therapy has begun to be incorporated into management of chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia. This is because regular exercise can have significant effects on a person’s quality of life, including reducing stress and the risk of other health issues.
In recent years, researchers have found that for women with fibromyalgia, resistance training can reduce pain and improve other symptoms. Aerobic exercise also appears to decrease pain from the condition.
Taking Care when Exercising with Fibromyalgia
As with any health condition, it is smart to talk to your physician prior to beginning any new type of exercise or alternative treatments. In this particular case, physicians who aren’t up to date with research may hesitate to recommend exercise to a patient with fibromyalgia. Advising a patient with chronic pain and fatigue to exercise seems rather counterintuitive at first.
The studies under review tended to have patients engage in supervised exercise, building up gradually in terms of intensity and duration. Five key studies were included, involving 200 women for up to 21 weeks.
This review, although small, found that women with fibromyalgia who engaged in moderate or high intensity resistance training had improvements in:
- Tenderness (number of tender points)
- Muscle strength
- Self-reported physical function.
In terms of pain relief, women with fibromyalgia who engaged in aerobic exercise had even better results. Flexibility exercise wasn’t as effective as either of the other interventions. Physicians may, therefore, wish to encourage patients with fibromyalgia to combine resistance training and aerobic activity.
What is resistance training?
Resistance training involves the use of free weights, stretchy bands, or a person’s body weight to challenge muscles. Simple resistance training for fibromyalgia relief can be done using dumb bells (or water bottles!), or by doing push-ups or pull-ups. This type of exercise has also been linked to improvements in bone mineral density and insulin sensitivity.
Why might resistance training help?
Aside from the physical improvements often seen in people engaging in exercise, resistance training for fibromyalgia may help in other ways. For example, many people with this condition feel like they have poor function and reduced capabilities. This can have a negative effect on psychological health and wellbeing.
Engaging in active exercise in a healthy way can decrease a person’s fear and enhance their sense of self-worth. This improved appreciation of physical capacity may also help people with fibromyalgia engage in other activities, including social ones, that further improve quality of life.
So, resistance training for fibromyalgia relief may be another tool to use in the management of this chronic condition.
Busch, A.J., Webber, S.C., Richards, R.S., et al. (2013). Resistance exercise training for fibromyalgia, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Dec 20;(12):CD010884.