Dieting with Obstacles - Fibro and exerciseing?

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07-29-2011, 11:56 PM
I havn't been diagnosed with fibromyalgia yet but my doctor thinks that I could have it (I will find out for sure in a couple of weeks). Anyways my question is does exercising sometimes make fibro worse. I am trying to incorperate exercise more into my daily routine (mostly walking) and I find that my fibro symptoms are worse no matter how much or how little exercise I get. Anyone else feel this way, any suggestions?

07-30-2011, 01:38 AM
Have you tried yoga? I live with nerve pain daily and I don't EVER feel like exercising, but if I make myself just get up and do yoga I feel better from having exercised and the yoga actually helps with the pain and stiffness/muscle rigidity.

07-30-2011, 03:25 AM
Yes, exercise can make fibro worse, especially if you try to do formal "workout" style exercise. I can't do exercise that is intense enough to makes me sweaty or I end up having a super bad flare on or before the next day. My skin even reacts (I turn bright fuchsia and the skin swells).

However in the long term, all my doctors say that regular exercise makes fibro better. To the point that my doctors have given me stronger pain medications to use so I could exercise. Even so, I learned that I had to make progress very gradually and slowly or the pain was crazy.

If you can find a warm water pool (ask your doctor, or your local department on aging and disability resources, or the United Way), I highly recommend it. Some YMCAs have them - basically you want the water to be as close to 90 degrees as you can get. You've got to be careful though, because you can feel so great in the water that you overdo and then suffer for days because of it. Start really slow and don't stay in long (I started with 15 minutes of slowly treading water). Then increase your time and intensity, but take it really slow.

Some people even with fibro aren't as sensitive to water temp, so if you can't find a warm water pool, you may still do well with water exercise.

I also worked at gradually and slowly moving more. I started with a step-counting pedometer and my goal each day was to meet or exceed the previous day (by just a few steps).

I'm still very sedentary by most standards, but I can and do so much more than when I was first diagnosed (it feels like a miracle).

07-30-2011, 11:14 AM
I have CFIDS rather than fibro, but they are related and some people think they're the same illness. The main difference that I know of is that pain is worse with fibro, and fatigue is worse with CFIDS, but both illnesses include both pain and fatigue to varying degrees.

Anyway, if you're getting worse, cut back on exercise until you stabilise again, and then increase exercise slowly and always do less than you think you can. CFIDS (and I think fibro) is made worse by exertion and also stimulus, so it can be worth thinking about the less obvious factors which may be exhausting you, and looking into sensory overload. I can do more exercise at home than I can if I have to go out and contend with fluorescent light, noise, crowds, smells and so forth.

Try tracking your exercise levels and energy levels, this will help you see patterns and get on top of the difficult art of pacing yourself. There's a CFS/FMS tracker feature (free) at, I've not used it myself (I set up a spreadsheet to do this sort of thing years ago) but it looks decent. It suggests a huge number of symptoms to track, you may want to cut that list down to make it manageable, as obsessing over the minor details isn't good for anyone. I've just set it up to play with, and noticed that it copied over when I have my periods from the weight tracker I use on that site, which is quite nifty.

07-31-2011, 02:02 AM
Thanks for all the advice and support. My biggest problem though is work. I have a very stressful and physically/mentally draining job. I do like my job for the most part, but after about 6 hours I just feel so sore and weak and I am so uncomfortable at night after work I have a hard time sleeping, I was hoping that some exercise would help but like I said it makes it worse =(. Same with school after so many hours of sitting up right I can get pretty sore.

08-01-2011, 06:48 PM
Would it help to work on ergonomics at all? Improved seating, taking breaks and mini-breaks, doing little stretches? Look at, for instance. I've used that when I was getting stiff and achy from sitting hunched over sewing too long at a stretch, and a lot of office workers swear by it.

08-01-2011, 09:14 PM
Low impact water aerobics would be good to try. My instructor has Fibro hereself.

09-27-2011, 03:34 AM
Exercise sometimes makes Fibro symptoms worse but I find that I can sometimes push pass the fatigue and aches and while I hurt when I am finished, my general sense of well being is better. If the pain gets bad, I take a painkiller and plod through. It is the fatigue that I cannot push thru, but sometimes ginseng helps to give me some quick energy.

On the advice of your doc try to push past the pain, and try swimming or watr aerobics as my rheumy recommends. When walking it does not have to be a power walk, just try to get in about 30 mins of walking and you might find you build up an endurance

10-12-2011, 07:17 PM
I was recently diagnosed with fibro and told the same that the control of it is in the exercise. I've been sedentary for quite awhile so I know to start slowly. I have trouble with walking due to leg pain (not the kind you can push past) so any suggestions on how to start?

10-21-2011, 02:01 AM
Exercise actually helped my symptoms go away completely and I've been remission for a year and a half now. I was diagnosed at the age of 20.

I started with just daily activities (showering, walking around the house, light cleaning, etc) I couldn't hold a job yet so getting out of the house and being outside in the sun did wonders for me. I then progressed to walking on a treadmill and eventually I was able to stop all my medications.

Everyone deals with their fibro differently so work with your dOctors to see what works best for you :)