Today I’m going to talk to you about a disorder you may not know about. Have you ever heard of Fibromyalgia? I know, it took me a few minutes to say it properly. Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by feelings by chronic pain throughout the body. It’s said to affect the central nervous system.
An estimated 3-6% of the world’s population suffers from Fibromyalgia, with 10 million of those people being in the United States alone. If you’ve been diagnosed with the disorder, there are several workouts that can help you through it.
Let’s talk 7 Activities That Can Help Your Fibromyalgia.
How often do you stretch? What about a chest press exercise? Answer me honestly, when was the last time you did Tai Chi? We’re talking all that AND more. Tai Chi Right off the bat, no, Tai Chi is NOT a form of Yoga. Tai Chi is a combination of meditation and gentle movement. Picture doing martial arts while breathing heavily in a slow, peaceful motion. The calm and soothing effects of Tai chi are said to relieve physical pain and muscular tension. Studies have shown that the overall health of fibromyalgia patients has improved after practicing 60 minute Tai Chi session for a number of months. This includes the elimination of symptoms including severe physical pain, loss of physical function, depression, anxiety and fatigue. Tai Chi is also known to improve one’s balance and flexibility, while building muscle strength. If you’re currently suffering from this disorder and you’re into quiet, relaxing activities, Tai chi could very well be the perfect therapy for you.
I know it seemed as if I was discrediting yoga for a second. I’m not in any way doing that. In fact, yoga is one of the most rewarding treatments for fibromyalgia. Researchers have found that yoga results in improvements in musculoskeletal conditions. This includes a 32% rate of improvement for Fibromyalgia patients who practiced yoga on the regular. It’s slow-paced, meditative movements help reduce overall pain reduction as well as fatigue and depression.
This one may seem a little unconventional, but just hear me out. When I say “chest press”, please don’t think I’m talking about hitting the bench and lifting twice your bodyweight. The isometric chest press is a perfect way to build tension and strengthen your muscles. It is done by holding your arms at chest height, and pressing your palms together as hard as you can for five seconds.
We’re talking tons of pressure, people! Make it count. Also, be sure to keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle. It is recommended that you do this five times over, increasing the number of seconds with each time. Try to work your way up to holding the press for 15 seconds. It is also recommended that you try isometric push ups and wall push ups.
When people tell you to stay active, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to hit the gym everyday. Being active can mean anything from going for a walk, to gardening your plants, to doing regular house work.
Anything that keeps you on your toes and working your muscles. Now with that said, try your best not to overdo these activities. If you feel like it’s becoming too overbearing, make sure you take a rest. The last thing you want to do is inflict more physical pain on your muscles.
Doing daily chores around the house is something none of us can avoid. Even if we are suffering from chronic muscle pain. Sometimes, there’s nobody around to help us. The point is to stay active and challenge your body to the extent it can handle.
Now let me just say, for those of you who have only heard the concept of acupuncture, this may seem a little extreme. Well I’m here to tell you it’s not. Acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into tense spots of your body in order to alleviate pain.
Acupuncture is proven to reduce many types of chronic pain, including symptoms of fibromyalgia. These include the promotion of natural self-healing as well as changes in blood flow and neurotransmitters. These improvements are said to be observed within only a few weeks time. This may sound strange, but if you’re desperate to relieve some of your terrible pain, why not use sharp needles?
We’re not taking you on a spa day or anything, so don’t get your hopes up. With that being said, massage therapy is another effective way to treat fibromyalgia. In fact, out of the activities we’ve listed so far, this may be the one that causes the least bit of stress.
When undergoing a massage for this particular disorder, your therapist will use pressure when needed, rubbing your joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons in order to release the pain from your body. This will be applied through several different massage techniques including connective tissue massage and manual lymphatic drainage.
We hate to interrupt your comfy massage, but let’s talk pumping iron for a minute. Did you know that weight lifting can dramatically reduce pain in your muscles? That is if you follow a strict workout regimen.
A 2013 study on women with fibromyalgia, showed that those who exercised 2-3 times every week for 21 weeks straight demonstrated 25% greater well-being. For those who didn’t exercise as much, they only showed 8% greater well-being. Many who worked out reported feeling much less pain than those who chose not to, as well as the ability to lift 28kg more in weight.
Warm Water Therapy
Much like massages, this one is more on the relaxing side. Just make sure that your water is at the right temperature. Warm water has demonstrated to be a miracle worker in the world of fibromyalgia. Let’s get scientific for a second. Warm water can reduce the swelling in your muscles and sore limbs. It can also increase circulation in your body.
When sitting in a warm tub, you want the temperature to be around 92 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a just the right amount of ‘warm’ you need to keep comfortable. Studies have found that patients who try warm water therapy two to three times a week saw a 40% reduction in pain. This shouldn’t be a difficult exercise considering how most of us have spent our entire lives trying to avoid cold water when entering the bathtub.
This is one of the more basic methods for treating fibromyalgia, especially if you don’t have time to warm up a bath or do a full-body workout. Stretching is great for relaxing tight muscles and easing spasms. On the off chance you’ve never worked out a day in your life, stretching is also a wise move before getting into an exercise.
It’s also smart to do if you’re doing random tasks around the house. Remember how I said that daily activities can benefit your disorder? Not only can it relax hurting muscles, it can also improve your flexibility and help prevent serious injury to your body.