Stretching to relieve fibromyalgia pain

Hi I am reading a Stacie Bigalow book - Simple Relief Through Movement. He talks a lot about safe stretching techniques and gives a few examples. What I would like is more information or a DVD. I try to keep moving by walking every day and the usual housework but I am 65 and don't want to stiffen up completely. Hope this makes sense. I always read your posts and think you are a great bunch. X

34 Replies

  • Hi flossy1

    Thank you so much for this post, as it is extremely interesting. I was wondering if you managed to get a DVD or something if you would please post again giving us all the facts and ins / outs of it. It would be very much appreciated.

    Take care

    Ken x

  • Hi I have been on line - thanks to pip_r and found a good variety to suit all. (In the online A store) In Stacies book he did emphasise not to start gentle exercise unless you are first active. Hope this helps. Will post when I try one. X

  • Thank you for this, I really am looking forward to finding out how it goes for you. Ken x

  • Morni,ng Flossy

    You say the DVD is all about safe stretching: That sounds very very interesting - gentle safe stretching could be very help full to us all.

    Would you please post us the info you have I will have a look as well and see what we can come up with,

    All the best


  • Hi gins Will keep you in the loop and let you know how I get on. pip_r had a good suggestion for a DVD. Keep well. flossy x

  • I read this book a few years ago and it really changed my view. My treating consultant had told me to make sure I got plenty of exercise so I went back to the gym - and gave myself one of the worst flare-ups I've ever had! This book helped to put exercise into some context for me - I walk pretty much every day now, motivated by my dogs and this is the right exercise for me. I found the pictures and guide for stretching in the book really helpful. Tx

  • Hi songstress, I agree its a good book and very helpful. like you I keep fit through walking my dogs. I try to go a little further each day. Keep well. Flossy x

  • Hi. The book 6 steps to a pain free life is great. 6 stretches, 30 seconds each, every day. It's by Joseph Weisberg x

  • Hi crop. Will look out for this book. Thank you for the info. Keep well. Flossy x

  • Hi,

    I just typed "gentle stretching exercises for fibromyalgia dvd" into Google and the top result provides information for stretches and has images alongside. I don't know if I'm allowed to put the site, as they also sell DVDs, so I won't. However, so you know it's the one I'm looking at, it covers stretches to be fit while you sit.

    If the search results are the same for all, the sixth result is for a well known online store beginning with A, and they sell the above's DVD too. It has 9 customer reviews and gets 4 out of 5 stars. Might be worth a look?

    I haven't tried this and don't know anything about it. Hopefully I'm not breaching any of the FibroAction guidelines by writing this :) It's more to say have a look and see what you think.

    Best of luck all.

    Pip xx

  • Hi pip. I've been on line, the A site, and agree the one you suggested looks good. Will give it a try and get back to you all. Keep well.

    Flossy x

  • Hi. That's great. Hope it turns out to be a good one. Let us know how you get on :) xx

  • I agree completely. I do simple stretching 5 mornings a week, takes about 10 mins. I pace myself doing housework then go for a walk. Stops me stiffening up. I get up at around 9 even if I haven't slept well and go to bed around midnight, by then I'm tired. Don't sleep during day or it will cock up your body clock. I've lost about 2 stone by eating healthily , less strain on joints and by doing all this I'm managing to keep going. I'm 60 this year and should have been retiring but thanx to this government I'll have to struggle on to 67 which means more having to convince atos that I can't work and live on benifits. I must say this is what I do struggle with..... The fact that they don't believe thT you have brain fog and depression. Il just have to work on this as it does get me down. Hope this helps x

  • I understand exactly what you are saying about worrying about the benefits and retirement and all. It is very difficult, if you truthfully answer questions about your activity. A few years back, I lost my Incapacity benefit and had to go to a tribunal. I know it was partly because I told the woman that I try to walk a little when I can, and she asked me how much and where I walk. I told her sometimes I even go up to the local park if I'm feeling well enough, and that it is about a 10 min walk away. She of course wrote that I walk for at least 10 min a day, and that I am taking a Tai Chi class, which I had just started that week.

    The thing is this: whatever you do to try to get well, Atos will interpret as being fit and able to work. I won my appeal that time, but it's a lot tougher now. When they cut my benefit in half while I waited for the hearing, I had to quit the Tai Chi class because I couldn't afford it or anything else on that low amount. After that experience I was too afraid to go back because I feared I'd lose it again.

    Now, I wouldn't even dare tell them that for pain I often do the stretches I learned as an acting and music student, albeit very few and very gently. I am certain that since I am now almost entirely bed bound, an answer like this would lose me my low rate of mobility and care for DLA they gave me after a huge battle in my last appeal, and maybe lose even my ESA. They are a heartless bunch. We are put between a rock and a hard place.... just trying to manage this illness and improve your pain levels can get you thrown back into a situation where you are made worse.

    I wish you all the very best and think you are wonderful for all you continue to manage. I do hope that your worries will soon be calmed and you can enjoy your time. I am now 61. It's difficult to stop worrying.

    I think the key is that as often as we can remember to do it, we need to fully breathe and experience the present moment--whether that is touching the ground or smelling the air, feeling the warm water of a bath, seeing a sunset or hearing a bird, or even the pain we are in at the same time we can be thankful for a roof over our heads and people who care about us. Continue to take good care of yourself and know that we care about you here.

    Gentle hugs for you

  • Hello All,

    I personally think stretching helps too! I posted about PMR a while ago.

    'Progressive muscle relaxation (or PMR) is a technique for reducing anxiety by alternately tensing and relaxing the muscles'; (Wikipedia) .Please see post below;

    I think this helps alongside all the other treatments, people warmup and warm down before exercise so before we start to move stretching sounds good to me.

    If anyone gives it ago, let me know how you get on !

    Best Wishes

    Emma :)

    FibroAction Administrator

  • Hi Emma. I checked out that link. It doesn't half sound like the corpse posture in Yoga. If I remember rightly it's great and I think I'll take it up again. I can do lying down :P

    I confidently recommend it without trying it. It's pretty well risk and stress free, unlike many.

    I'm rotten at keeping diaries but I'll try to report back. Any result may be skewed by still trying to sort out meds :)

    There's loads of stuff on that online shop too. if you just search Fibromyalgia with or without dvd there's 2000 results. Some might even be of use. I couldn't see an "exercise" dvd as such :(

    I've also been advised about keeping regular movement with the emphasis on movement, not strenuous cardiovascular stuff :)

  • Hi Emma. I looked at the link and am going to give it a go starting at 5 mins. Will let you know how I get on.

    Keep well. Flossy x

  • Great, It would be great to hear how you get on Flossy :)

  • Hi flossy, Thanx for really useful post. I used to do stretches, but I admit I,d forgotten! I walk the dogs daily and quite often go for a walk on my own because my dogs are really slow. I ,ve tried swimming but that put me in bed so that,s out. I,m 68 and I don't want to stiffen up either, so I,ll get back to it! Xxx

  • Hi wildwoman. Love the name!! I think gentle stretching is the way forward. My legs get plenty of exercise, have two dogs, but top half needs more work. Let me know how you get on. Keep well. Flossy x

  • I'll go along with all that. I'd even support yoga. TBH the best gym is YOU. no other equipment needed and most of us could probably work out a workout without recourse to people who mostly want to part you from your money.. Important thing is to keep moving - gently. We tend to misinterpret the advice as "push it hard". I'll look up those books and DVDs too. I'm interested in anything that helps. Bodyclock thing too. It's too easy to blame the condition (fibro's not alone in this) for insomnia. If it's pain, it's justified. If it's because of afternoon naps that's different. That vicious cycle is real and hard to get out of. I find it hardest when I'm off work and immobile.

    As far as weight goes, I've also learnt (bit late) a NORMAL healthy balance diet can keep you away from all those fancy schemes. Hope that hasn't gone beyond the pale. :)

  • Hi fenbadger. I'll let you know how I get on when I get a DVD. Like you, I try to not to sleep in the day, TRY HARD to eat healthy food and keep my weight down. Don't be too hard on yourself when you have a day off work. You may need a little tlc.

    Keep well. Flossy x

  • Yeah, good points. Please do keep us posted. Is the book worth it? there are so many I worry which ones are by cranks. :)

  • I don't think he's a crank but I think it's a bit expensive. Cost a tenner on my kindle. X

  • Wow. Lucky I don't have a kindle! Let us know how you get on. :)

  • I have very recently (two weeks ago) started doing VERY gentle yoga, mostly stretches that can be done sitting in a chair and lying down and an option later to progress. I just got it on DVD that way I can work at my own pace, better for me than a class and the yoga DVD I got is very gentle and for all ages of people with problems doing the normal types of exercise.

    I have been doing 30 mins every 2nd day and it is mainly gentle stretches and so far it is helping, or seems to be!

    I also walk my dog for 15-20 mins daily, slowly and try to get out for a walk myself, when I can weather permitting:)

    I also try to pace myself with the housework, something I found hard but I am learning ;)

  • Thank you for your reply. Also walk dogs but like you want to do a little more. X

  • Crissyarry. Thank you for you reply. You are working hard to keep a good level of fitness but I'm sorry your having to convince atos that you are unwell. It shouldn't be like this!!!!!

    I hope you keep well.


  • Hi All

    I agree that stretching is a useful tool for keeping the body mobile. The best exercises probably swimming but gently.

    I have recently joined a Tai-Chi class as I am hoping the gentleness of movement will be helpful to keep me moving. Third week and I do it on a Monday and by thursday I can move a bit again, yes it is painful but I am not trying to do the complete movement as if I did I would most likely be in hospital, I do what I can and the nice thing about it is, is that it is something I can do and it will help me in the long term.

    Stretching and breathing they are the important things, get them in harmony and it helps no end.

    Take care and kindest regards


  • I saw a YouTube of an American doctor a few years back. He had some free videos on his site. His treatment methods included 25 slow deep breaths whenever you have pain. This has been somewhat helpful for me, when I do not have extreme tension in my chest to prevent it. Also, he had a simple rolling exercise that you do very gently while lying in bed. He recommended that you do it 5 times each side before getting up every morning, and then work up to more repetitions. It was very simple but you had to be careful to line your body up properly with your hands and arms straight out and lying on your side, then rolling forward gently with your palm s starting together and the top one then passsing forward across the lower palm, and coming back again. I do not remember precisely how this worked but it was good when I tried it and did not seem to increase my pain at all. I felt that it helped. This discussion has reminded me of it and I think I will start it again. Of course like most, he wanted you to do some other things, and I don't remember what he may or may not have been selling. At any rate, the exercise videos were free on his website and I thought the approach was a healthy and gentle one.

    Update: I googled and then tried a name that popped into my head which turned out to be the exact Dr's name. It is Dr. DiCenso or Di Censo. If you google his name and Fibromyalgia you will see the links for his videos. I don't know if all his info is accurate, but the stretching and breathing might be very helpful, especially if like me you are too ill to be up and walking or doing Tai Chi, swimming, etc.

    Best of luck and I would like to hear if anyone else finds it useful. I'm going to try to get back to it. I did it for awhile and then was so engulfed in painful days (not because of the exercise, but for other reasons) that I forgot all about it until now.

  • Will have a look at the DVD. Swimmings out as also have lupus and sjrogrens - the chlorine plays havoc with my skin and eyes. X

  • I have ordered the book so I shall have a read and see if any is possible :D Every one wants to try so we will see - we are all so different :) Take care be safe and don't over do it .

    I am the big 60 this year so I guess I should be more careful :P



  • We're still spring chicks gins. Xx

  • Don't let a little thing like that stop you! :P :P

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