Fibromyalgia Improves With Exercise Aid

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If pain doesn’t persists that much, people often times neglect it. In cases wherein there is a long term body-wide pain and an unexplainable muscle, joints tendons or other soft tissue pains, it maybe the condition called fibromyalgia. This disorder commonly affects women than men in 20-40 ages. Fibromyalgia is also associated to sleep problems, fatigue, headaches and anxiety. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), memory and concentration problems, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, palpitations, reduced ability to exercise, tension or migraine headaches are also some of the other symptoms that fibromyalgia may occur. A prompt medical attention is needed in this condition.

One study about the said disease shows that in cases of fibromyalgia, patients who stopped taking medication but have a regular exercise for six weeks shows an improvement in terms of pain and memory function.  One of the authors, Dr. Brian Walitt, director of the Fibromyalgia Evaluation and Research Center at Georgetown University Medical Center, is scheduled to present the findings Sunday with co-researcher, Manish Khatiwada, at the Society of Neuroscience annual meeting, in Washington, D.C… Walitt said that “This is a first look at understanding how exercise alters memory performance.” Ever since, it is then being continuously recommended that exercise should be included in everyday routine not only the patients with fibromyalgia but to everyone in general.

The study was conducted in a nine women with fibromyalgia that were put into baseline functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test or simply by getting brain image. In addition to that, memory tests were given-through reading back sequence of letters at several times after familiarizing with it. Patients were also asked and given an assessment test related to their working memory, pain (while they are on their medication) and well-being. Afterwards, same women stopped taking medication for a six-week period and undergone aerobic exercise program, consisting of three 30-minute sessions a week. Before exercise program, MRI and tests were again obtained.

“When we took people off the medicine, they performed worse on the tests,” Walitt said. But, he added, “As they stayed off the medications for a period of time and exercised, their cognitive performance returned to normal levels (the same as at the start of the study),” he said. While more study is needed, Walitt said that “overall, exercise seems to be a beneficial thing for fibromyalgia patients, in terms of overall well-being. If you can exercise and make it work for you, that’s great.” Authors conclude that their results “indicate that as the patients discontinue their current medication treatment and transition into the exercise treatment their subjective rating of change in pain initially increases and then decreases… These results are suggestive of the effect exercise on not only self report of global change in pain sensation in FM but also improvement in the network of cortical areas recruited in working memory.”

Dr. I. Jon Russell, a San Antonio fibromyalgia researcher and consultant, and retired professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio said that despite some flaws of the study, exercise is still encourage with patients suffering from fibromyalgia. He thought the amount of time spent off medication during the study should have been longer before repeat testing. But, he said, “The most encouraging thing about this study is that fibromyalgia is continuing to be investigated.” “We have many reasons to believe that aerobic exercise is good for our patients. This study gives some support (to that idea),” Russell said. However, “We shouldn’t over-interpret that exercise is the answer.”




  1. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome is a problem that may run into severe situations if not cared properly. One should not overlook at the problem and should get the treatments as fast as possible. Thanks for the great helpful post.

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