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For any sufferer of Fibromyalgia, every painful muscle may cringe at the concept of exercise for fears that it may worsen the condition.
Fibromyalgia symptoms are one of the grey areas of muscular disorders, with very few doctors able to tell who has it or whether it is “all in the mind”. Painfully misunderstood, the disorder causes joint pains, depression, tenderness and severe sleep disorders. The harsh reality of Fibromyalgia is that often, sufferers are treated like mental cases, rather than genuine sufferers of a debilitating illness.
If diagnosed at all, the treatment can be just as severe as the disorder, with drugs such as Co-Codamol bearing some severe side-effects – of which also have to be combated by a further amount of drugs. With no known cure and no universal reason as to why it happens in the first place, sufferers are faced with an uphill struggle where everything and anything can cause a painful disturbance for their bodies. It’s natural that as a result, their physical activity would hit a low.
As such, the concept of exercise can become something of a morbid joke – but what if exercise was the answer?
At first, many sufferers of Fibromyalgia may flinch at the idea of vigorous exercise – the concept is daunting because, understandably, they don’t want to suffer pain.
Depending on their current fitness levels, it has been suggested that Fibromylalgia sufferers can benefit from a “prescription” of aerobics, which can last between twice-weekly 10 minute to four-times weekly, 30 minute sessions. The intensity isn’t high-level, but low to medium, which means that whilst earning a 60% maximum heart-rate, the body can still benefit without causing too much agony.
Vigorous exercise means that the body benefits in the long-run. Starting off too harshly will cause more pain, but starting low and gradually building up is key to muscular improvement. In doing so, it is noted that pain doesn’t increase, but that there were positive changes in symptoms that could suggest a lessening of a pain-killing cocktail of drugs.