How does exercise help fibro?

I can barely handle being on my legs throughout day nevermind trying to exercise. Is thnot exercising making my fibro worse? Why does exercise help when you are in pain for days from even mild walking? Can anyone explain as i dont really understand? Thank you!

I can’t explaine because I don’t understand it either. My doc has told me the same thing, that I need to excersice. My hatband and I have joined a gym and do as much as my pain will allow however my husband doesn’t get it once again and keeps telling me I should be doing this or that. I can only do the bike and the treadmill. I know i didn’t really help but I thought I’d let you know I’m right there with you. Hugs

I'm so glad that you've asked this question because I've been told to go to an exercise and dieting program for fibro. What I'd like to know is, #1. Is there any research showing that exercise benefits people with fibro, and #2. How many people here can honestly say that an exercise program has helped their fibro and/or everyday life? Is it just doctors who don't have fibro who are insisting that it must be good for us?

Good morning Pet!! I would really like to see proof that exercise and diet DO work for Fibro. So far, I haven't seen anything yet. I can understand a diet for it - but I am so skeptical about exercise. I have tried very gentle stretching recommended by a Rheumatolist and from books I have read. But they didn't work for me. Several years ago, I went to have a facial (love these!) and the girl gently massaged my arms and hands with a great lotion. Well, a few hours after I got home, my arms were hurting so bad. I was just stunned that a gentle massage could cause the Fibro to flare up. If I have real complaints about certain parts of my body that flare up, the arms are sometimes the ones that I talk about. I can't lift them and I can't even blow dry my hair when they hurt. Hugs! Laurie

Hi Laurie! Thanks for your input. I now know what you mean about the gentle massage causing fibro flares, they can do a number on you. So why would exercising be beneficial for fibro? Let's see the responses from others. I'm dying to know how many are better due to exercise...We shall see!

Pet, webmd has article explaining scientific reasoning behind why exercise is good for fibromyalgia sufferers. It’s called-the benefits of exercise for fibromyalgia.
Indeed, though, let’s find out what those with fibro that are exercising have to say. Doctor’s can write articles, but I want hear it from the people!

I do believe that exercise does help with fibromyalgia. Although some times I do miss my workouts because of a major flare up, I never started working out until I was in my 60,s and needed to get atrophied muscles into shape. I stopped working out for a year, because of exhaustion and fibro, and the pain got worse and I got weaker. I find. I get less major flare ups, can better manage depression as I feel that I accomplished something, and it gets me out of the house and off the bed/couch. As my muscles get stronger I am in less pain afterwards as though they respond better to bad messages. I do find a major flare up and missing a week sets me back about three weeks.
But we are all different, we have some different symptoms and I expect different levels of pain, so I won’t say exercise is for everyone, I just know that it helps me a lot in managing fibro and some other chronic conditions I have.

That article i mentioned earlier says the exercise endorphins are good for fibros and that it raises serotonin levels and keeps our muscles from atrophying. I found that walking albeit exhausting later does give me a little rush for awhile and gets my blood going, but it doesn’t last and then i am sore for days. I wonder if we need to start slow with the exercises and rebuild slowly. I remember before i got sick if i got out of shape and then started a workout regimen, I was sore a little less after I got more conditioned. Maybe with fibro we need to get over the exercise hill and then there will be less soreness and more benefit?

Also was wondering what’s everyone’s experience with yoga added to their exercise?

hi, this is a great question !!! I have to say I was the biggest skeptic about exercise helping, however when I stopped working my symptoms got worse and I was desperate to stop it from continuing to control my life… So out of desperation I bought a recumbent bike, the Kind with the seat that has a back on it, I had to start very slow… Like 5 min 2x day no resistance … After a month I’m up to 7 min 3 x day with some resistance… So I think the key is to do something, my knees do feel better, I never had a prob with my knees… But on there is an article for physicians on protocol for the guiefesen tx. When I read it, it actually explained why fibro gets worse as we become less active, phosphates build up in our muscles and joints, when we are active they don’t accumulate as readily, just this dr’s theory…
I remember last summer I went for a walk around the block with a friend, my shins hurt like crazy for a week, you would think I ran a marathon… Ugh
I was also doing warm pool therapy this past summer, and since I stopped I can tell now it did help !
So I know they dont have all the ans. but I know for me, as I became less active because of pain and fatigue my symptoms got worse… Hopefully this bike exercise will at the least, keep things from getting even worse … I’ll keep you updated
Hugs & blessings

I can't really answer this, because I was just diagnosed in December and haven't been on an exercise program since then (but I have big plans to re-start next week!).

I do agree with Dee - it seems like the less active I am, the yuckier I feel, physically and mentally. The less I do, the less I want to do.

My ex-Rheum gave me instructions for starting an exercise program (in my case, it was re-starting one after a lupus flare). I think it would make sense for fibro too, and I plan to follow it again next week. I have a stationary bike, and she said to start with a slow, gentle (no resistance) 2 minutes once daily. When you get to a point where those 2 minutes no longer bother you, increase it to 3 minutes daily, and so on. She said that will ease you into it, not hurt your body or trigger a flare.

Baltimore, the WebMD article was pretty good. Link below.


Thanks ladies! Sharon thanks for posting the link. I couldn’t cause I was on smartphone. :wink: I am gonna start with exercising. I will let group know of my experiences too. I will start low intensity and slow.

The bike is great it take the pressure off your legs yet you are moving. When muscles are not moved waste products from the cells begin to build up in the muscles. Daily exercise will increase blood flow to the muscles (actually everywhere) to help remove toxins. 8 glasses of water (sometimes I feel like a fish) along worth exercise helps to remove waste products that are a regular part of your metabolism.

So I can explain the why but I do understand how hard it is. I could not ride a bike, I could not walk. I found swimming. At first just 15 minutes then more when it started feeling good, some days I go back to a short swim. Now I am able to walk, I even tried line dancing! It was hard but fun, I was the youngest person there and just went through the motions. It was hard I have always been very athletic and full of energy.

It is hard but I am really trying to celebrate and embrace what I can do and try to forget aboutwhat I can’t do.

Congratulations on finding that you can bike and you can do the tred mill!

How does someone exersize when the pain in their feet and legs hurt so bad it puts you in a major flare?