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An ongoing series of informational entries

Best Exercises for Fibromyalgia

April 1st, 2019


There is no ONE best exercise for fibromyalgia. 


The best exercise for fibromyalgia will be the one you feel most comfortable and confident doing. Bonus if you can have fun doing it. It may take some trial and error. 


But, always start small with just a few minutes of exercise followed by rest. Increase your time slowly over days or weeks.


There are a few exercises that will be easier to start with;


Stretching – Simple stretching goes a long way. If you are struggling to even get out of bed, you can stretch without leaving the bed. You can stretch on the couch. You can stretch anywhere. 


Walking – Walking is an aerobic exercise. It gets the heart pumping and blood flowing. It increases oxygen flow throughout the body. It also helps to keep your joints, muscles, tendons, etc moving, avoiding increased tightness which can increase pain. 


When walking is a struggle you can only do what you can.  It may mean that you start with just walking from the bedroom to the kitchen.


Water exercise – If you have access to a pool (or any body of water) you may find exercising in water easier than exercising on land. Water reduces the impact of exercise on your joints. You feel lighter and can often move easier as a result. This can allow you to get more of a workout with less overall fatigue (both muscle and otherwise).


Yoga – There are so many types of yoga, including very gentle forms specifically for those with chronic pain. The hardest part might be finding the type of yoga you prefer.


Yoga, at it’s core, is simply stretching in very specific ways. Both yoga and Tai Chi combine movement with meditation. This can have positive mental effects, as well as physical.


Tai Chi – Tai Chi is one of my favorite types of exercise for dealing with chronic pain. I think of it as standing yoga with movement. It’s about moving through specific poses in a gentle way. You stretch to the level you are comfortable and move as you are comfortable. It can be performed by anyone, anywhere.


There’s no bad choices for exercise. But, it’s important not to over-do it, to work at the level that is comfortable for you in your current state. 


Trying to do too much too fast will likely mean a setback that results in not being able to do anything.


Start small and do what works best for you. 

Flare Survival Kit

March 31st, 2019

Medications – Firstly I always make sure that my medication are all in one place, I have purchased a large Tupperware box to store all my medication in. 


My partner ensures that I take the correct medications and ensures that I don't double dose or forget any of my timed medications.


A firm mattress with lots of pillows – Most fibromyalgia patients I’ve met have told me they can’t live without pillows. I have them everywhere in my house.


When I’m lying flat in bed - I use a body pillow to support my body and to support my legs. When I sleep, I keep a pillow between my knees because it helps to keep stress off my back.


When we travel - the first thing we do when we check into a hotel is ask housekeeping for additional pillows, this way it ensures a comfortable stay.


Soft sheets – These are a must. I have severe allodynia from my Fibromyalgia. I use the softest sheets I can find so I don’t aggravate it. I also have to be careful about what I wear when I’m flaring.


Blankets – My temperture varies dramatically from cold to hot so I always have a blanket close to hand, weirdly I cannot sleep without a blanket.


Soft, easy to wear clothes. I prefer loose t-shirts with minimual buttons and I prefer to wear jogging bottoms compared to wearing jeans but this is not always possible if going out and need to look smart but casual.


Netflix – Seeming that there is never anything good on Sky,  I tend to use Netflix, especially in the winter months.


Epsom salt baths – On the rare Occassion I will try and have a bath with Epsom salts which is supposedly useful to relieve tension and help you relax.


Spotify – I always listen to relaxing music just before bed. I also listen to music when I’m flaring because it helps to distract me from the pain. 


Scented candles – Candles make everything better and the soft light helps me relax.


Family Pets– I fully believe in therapy animals. 


Patience– I have to have patience with myself if I want to get through a flare. If I push myself too hard or I’m not willing to just ride it out, the flare will last longer. 


Resting isn’t easy but as the meme that’s been going around says I have to remember that when I’m resting I’m still doing something very important – I’m healing.