Exercise Study Results (2018): Tai Chi & aerobic exercise both seem to help

A member actually posted this study to this site back when they were looking for volunteers to participate. The results are now official:

Tai Chi Beats Aerobic Exercise for Fibromyalgia


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Thanks for posting. Will have to look for classes.


Thank you so much! I look forward to pursuing tai chi. I appreciate this information.

In short the results reported in the link above and by this summarizing pic is that Tai Chi seems as good as or maybe better for us, because gentler and more holistic, than normal (“aerobic”) exercises, which are often too challenging.

But while I’m at it (or actually I was looking for a good thread to bump up) 2 older studies confirming that physical therapy seems to work:

Physical therapy seems to help:
Germany 2000, Offenbächer et al. Physical therapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia - PubMed Cryotherapy is mentioned here as possibly helpful for FMS, along with PT, trigger point injection, massage, acupuncture, biofeedback, TENS, recommending a multidisciplinary approach. “Based on anecdotal evidence or small observational studies physiotherapy may reduce overloading of the muscle system, improve postural fatigue and positioning, and condition weak muscles. Modalities and whole body cryotherapy may reduce localized as well as generalized pain in short term. Trigger point injection may reduce pain originating from concomitant trigger points in selected FM patient. Massage may reduce muscle tension and may be prescribed as a adjunct with other therapeutic interventions. Acupuncture may reduce pain and increase pain threshold. Biofeedback may positively influence subjective and objective disease measures. TENS may reduce localized musculoskeletal pain in fibromyalgia. While there seems to be no single best treatment option, physical therapy seem to reduce disease consequences. Accordingly a multidisciplinary approach combining these therapies in a well balanced program may be the most promising strategy and is currently recommended in the treatment of fibromyalgia.”

Active pain management strategies help:
Finland 2013, Gauffin et al.: Do fibromyalgia patients use active pain management strategies? A cohort study - PubMed Active pain management strategies are most efficacious for fibromyalgia patients, regardless of the severity of fibromyalgia or optional comorbid depression. / The most frequently reported pain management strategies were physical exercise (54%), physical therapy (32%) and cold treatment (27%).

And bundling interesting posts again:

Here is another study result:

I agree with @Petunia_Girl here that many PTs think their normal exercises are good for us (even in the rheum./fibro clinic I was in), instead of toning them down considerably. Gentler forms such as my osteopathy or @SK1 's chiropractic are better, esp. first.

@Aimee_Rose recommends: Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners. Some of these exercises are probably too long for me, I need to keep to about 20’’ stints.

Whilst @MoMerrell recommends the DVD “Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Fibromyalgia”, which you can buy, but isn’t on their yoga page, where they offer individual yoga lessons, and at the moment classes in Therapeutic Chair Yoga and Viniyoga for Health and Healing. There are quite a few books and videos on yoga for fibromyalgia, also youtube-videos (don’t get irritated by fibro-healing vids, those seem to always be people who only have it a bit or only have a few deficiencies etc.)
@niteowlie recommends an exercise dvd here, but the page she links to now advertises a diabetes DVD. 3 introductions to the arthritis dvd are on youtube tho.

If and how exercise may work is talked about here How does exercise help fibro?, incl. the link http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/fibromyalgia-and-exercise

Weight reduction is the desire of this venting thread without answers. After my own experience with amitritypline my first guess would be that weight / gain is due to many of our meds and look for alternatives to them. That was the only way for me, and it took me - like most - about 8 months to get +6kg down, despite lots of gentle exercise and sports. I’d suggest meds are a weighty dead end unless you have no or can live (& exercise) despite the side effects.