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Dr. Pellegrino's advice for exercising with FM

This article has been extracted from the free Information booklet that FMA UK provides. To have this information presented in a professional A5 booklet, as well as the other articles please request a copy of our Information booklet from the office. The material in this booklet is from an older version of the booklet, please check the link above for current content.

Individuals with fibromyalgia are faced with an exercise dilemma. Because the muscles are so tight and painful in fibromyalgia, they are often aggravated by any attempt to exercise. If the muscles aren’t used enough, they can more easily flare up with any attempt to do activity. Often, the person with fibromyalgia will experience increased pain or full-blown flare up when attempting to increase activity. Although it is difficult for individuals with fibromyalgia to exercise, it is not an impossible task. My experience in seeing and treating thousands of fibromyalgia patients over the years is that most are able to develop a successful individualised exercise programme.

Some people are able to be more active than others, but I believe that everyone with fibromyalgia has the potential to improve their activity to decrease pain and improve function. Telling a patient with fibromyalgia to exercise is part of the often used cliché, “easier said than done. ”I emphasise to patients that any exercise is better than no exercise and that each individual has to find a proper balance of exercise that works best for him or her. A prescription for exercise in someone with fibromyalgia needs to be flexible.

There is no one type of exercise that works best for everyone, and what works for one may not work for someone else. The key goals of an exercise programme are to find what works, develop a successful home programme and maintain a stable balance or baseline.

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