Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
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Beneficial Exercises for Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain

If you have fibromyalgia, you know what it’s like to live with the chronic pain and stiffness it can cause. And while medication and therapy are key to controlling symptoms, incorporating physical activity can vastly improve your quality of life.

“Try to keep moving—that’s my motto for patients,” says Maura Daly Iversen, PT, DPT, SD, MPH, spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. “The less you move, the more pain and fatigue you’ll feel.” Exercise can also help you sleep better and reduce your need for pain meds, as well as improve your mood: “So often, the pain of fibromyalgia leads to depression,” adds Iversen. “Working out is a great, healthy way to manage both conditions.”

Here are the top five fibro-friendly workouts, plus tips and tricks to help you ease in and hurt less: (Check with your doctor before starting any program.)

Walking

It’s an excellent form of light aerobic exercise, which provides a list of healing benefits: It brings oxygen and nutrition to your muscles to keep them healthy, helps rebuild stamina, boosts energy, and reduces stiffness and pain. In fact, a comprehensive research review found that low-impact aerobics is most effective for improving FMS symptoms. Biking is another good option: “The reciprocal, or back-and-forth, motion helps provide relaxation,” adds Iversen, who also chairs the Department of Physical Therapy at Northeastern University Bouve College of HealthSciences.

Other effective forms of aerobic exercise include swimming and water aerobics in a heated pool (warm water relaxes muscles, and the buoyancy of the water helps with movement, whereas cold water can make muscles tense up) and using an elliptical trainer (which is lower impact than a treadmill).

Fibro-friendly tip: Do short bursts, not long stretches. Research shows breaking a longer workout into shorter chunks provides the same healthbenefits—and for people with fibro, the latter strategy is best: “If your goal is to walk for 30 minutes, start with three 10-minute walks a day,” says Iversen. “Just don’t leave your last walk for too late; that’s when fatigue is the worst.” Experts generally recommend doing aerobicexercises three to four times per week on nonconsecutive days. To help motivate you to stay on track, join a walking or workout group, adds Iversen.

Stretching

Do it at least once a day to help increase flexibility, loosen tight, stiff muscles, and improve range of motion—the combination of which will help ease everyday movements, like looking over your shoulder or reaching for a can on the top shelf of your pantry. Stretching duringworkouts may also help you to tolerate training better.

Fibro-friendly tip: Stretch to cool down, not warm up. The best time to stretch is after some form of light warm-up exercise, says Iversen; you could hurt yourself trying to stretch cold muscles. Start by positioning yourself until you feel a slight stretch in the muscle, then hold the stretch for a full minute for the most benefit.

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Strength training

The trick is to use light weights (start with 1 to 3 pounds, says Iversen) and lift slowly and precisely to improve tone and make muscles stronger—stronger muscles use less effort than weaker muscles, which may leave them less fatigued. Plus, studies show strength training can help treat depression, even as well as some medications. Aim to work out each major area—legs, chest, shoulders, back, arms, and abs—two to three times per week, with at least a 1-day break in between. Start with a weightyou can lift comfortably for eight reps, then gradually up it to 10 and 12 reps. When you can lift the weight 12 times, two sessions in a row, you’re ready to increase the weight slightly (and start back down at eight reps.)

Fibro-friendly tip: Shorten the range of motion. Take a bicep curl, for example: There are two parts to that move—when you bring your hand up to your shoulder (the concentric phase) and when you lower it back down to your thigh (eccentric phase). That second part can be the problem—going down too far can cause discomfort and make pain worse for people with fibromyalgia, says Iversen. Studies show shortening that phase can help decrease muscle soreness.

Yoga

Practicing the Hatha kind—a more gentle combination of postures, breathing, and meditation—reduces the physical and psychological symptoms of chronic pain in women with fibromyalgia, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Pain Research. Participants reported significantly less pain; they were also more accepting of their condition and felt less helpless and more mindful.

Yoga also helps build endurance and energy and improves sleep and concentration. Tai chi, where you slowly and gracefully perform a series of movements, has also been shown to help relieve fibro pain and other symptoms—maybe even better than stretching, according to a recent study from Tufts Medical Center.

Fibro-friendly tip: Modify moves to reduce stress. If a particular position hurts, you can tweak it to still get the benefits with less pain, says Iversen. “With the downward dog, for example, the pressure on the wrists can be painful for someone with fibromyalgia, so rest on your forearms instead.” And don’t worry about extending your knees fully, she adds—as long as you can get into the basic position, and are comfortable in that position, that’s what matters. For beginners especially, it’s important to find an instructor who understands your needs—ask your physical therapist or doctor for recommendations.

Everyday activities

That’s right—studies show that playing with your kids, mopping the floors, gardening, and other things you do in daily life count toward increasing fitness and reducing symptoms.

Fibro-friendly tip: Plan your day to better manage pain. “Spread out your list of chores throughout the day, doing the tougher ones in the morning,” suggests Iversen. And give yourself a break: If you want to play with your kids, but you’re in pain, get on the floor with them so you don’t have to lean over and run around. Don’t clean your floors on your hands and knees; get a lightweight mop instead. And when you need a rest, take it.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.prevention.com

With fibromyalgia, exercise can improve your quality of life and reduce pain. As a chronic pain condition, the symptoms can often be impairing and debilitating. However, following an appropriate exercise routine along with ongoing treatment can help greatly reduce the individuals discomfort.

For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 . Top provider

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Beneficial Exercises for Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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Our Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive, cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, practical strength training, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries.

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Beneficial Exercises for Fibromyalgia Chronic Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*