Physical Therapy / Exercise, Does It Really Help For Those Of Us With Fibro?

Due to my Fibro condition, I can no longer work. I have applied for disability but that can take a long time, if I’m even approved. Since I have no money coming in, I have sold my house. I plan to live off the equity I get until my disability is hopefully approved.

To get my house ready to show, I had to do extra cleaning, put stuff away, etc. so it looked nice when potential buyers would come by. Now that it is sold I have to box all my stuff up to get ready to move. The entire process has been physical labor, but in my opinion not hard labor, yet it has been so exhausting. I can only work a few hours filling a few boxes and then I’m exhausted. If I push myself, I’m in bed the entire next day, too tired to even get up.

To me, cleaning or boxing up my items is small stuff. But now with Fibro, It’s so hard just to get the simplest things done.

I have heard that physical therapy is suppose to help with this type of fatigue. I have read that part of physical therapy is doing exercises in a warm pool. Others do stuff like Yoga.

For the past 2 months, I have had to do some light physical labor because of my house move, but I don’t feel like the exercise has helped me. If anything I feel totally worn out and exhausted. It’s so frustrating not to be able to do the simple things that I used to be able to do. I’m a 54 year old male that feels like a frail old man that is pretty much useless. My friends and family do not understand and avoid me. One of my friends said that because I have applied for disability I have given up. When the truth is, she has given up on me. So I live alone and have to do everything myself.

With all that said, my question is, do those of you with Fibro, that do some type of physical therapy find that it helps or not?

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  • Morning marks, I was told by my rheumy to do what ever exercise I could, even if it was to walk round the garden a couple of times day otherwise I would end up in a wheelchair, I'm almost in that wheelchair but then I've had this and other conditions for over 50 years now and I'm now 72 so I guess I've had a good innings, I have just bought a DVD called chair exercise by Leanne , she has only one leg, it's quite, it also shows other people doing exercise standing up, the rheumy even told my daughter to make sure I'd exercise as he seen so many patients with this disease n up in a wheelchair because feel frightened to exercise....so I guess after all that yes exercise is good for up....look forward to reading your posts, sending you a gentle hugs....Deexx

  • Morning Mark,

    To be as fit as we can be with Fibro is the ideal so yes physical therapy is important the trouble is so many of us cannot do any because of Fibro or other degenerative diseases or other reasons. So many of us are locked inside are bodies with fibro as well not fun . If you are able to exercise do so it will help!

    xgins

  • Hi there,

    All of us on this site sympathise with you. We all know how doing all those little things really knock you for six. Your friend has no comprehension of how this affects you on a day to day basis.

    Right, exercise. Yes it does help, BUT little and often. With fibro the muscles weaken and the lactic acid doesn't drain, so its a bit like not warming up before a run and ending up in serious pain. Yogo is great, just do what you can do, don't overstretch and do tell the teacher. Pilates is good for balance, same again don't overdo. Ask your gp to be referred to nearest hospital for hydrotherapy, exercising in warm water (not the same in your average swimming pool), the physio will give you graded exercises according to your specific needs, usually between 4-6 sessions. My hospital has a follow on place at a local special needs school that I went on the waiting list for. I get once a week for 20mins supervised but you have to have done the physio/hydro exercises from the hospital first. It really helps. The physio can give you stretching exercises to stop cramps and lengthen the muscles. Don't bother with the gym, you need something slow and simple. You start off with one or two exercises twice a day and build up gradually till you find moving about is easier. Tai chi is also meant to be good.

    There is a booklet by the nhs called Graded exercise you may be able to download it, if not ask your gp to get it for you. Its about building up slowly. Walking if you can do it is also good, any low impact is good.

    I find afternoons are better for getting things done and try and do any jobs then, I've had two loads of meds in my system by then. If you are boxing up, try writing the list of items for the boxes in the morning and loading the boxes in the afternoon. Have the boxes at working height, don't bend if you can help it and most of all don't overload the boxes and do label the outside as to what room its come from or going to. Some removals company can box for you but it costs, depends if you can afford it. Personally I'd rather do it bit by bit by myself. Do you have someone who can help you load stuff into boxes and stack them?

    Don't give up hope, you can do it but slowly at at your pace, break after an hour or maybe half, have a cuppa, sit down and a short break, you are more inclined to want to carry on if you are more refreshed. If you need to take more apin relief then do it.

    Sorry this is an epic, but it is important and we all want you to know you are not alone. Gentle hugs

    Lynnx

  • Hi Mark5177

    I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today? I am so sorry to read that you have been suffering and struggling in this way, and I sincerely hope that you can find some resolution and relief to your issue.

    My GP told me that some kind of physiotherapy was a really good idea when you have Fibro. However, I am still waiting to start mine due to an accident last November which left me unable to walk for a while, so I hope to be starting mine shortly.

    I also think there is another element to this, and it is just my personal opinion, but getting out of the house and seeing another human being and interacting with them on some level is exceedingly therapeutic. After all, we are by our very nature, social animals, and this helps to stave off depression, and hence, a lack of energy to do things.

    I sincerely hope that you get your benefits, and that you can enjoy your life in your new abode. Please keep us all up to date with how you get on.

    All my hopes and dreams for you.

    Ken

  • Hiya Ken. How are you today? I'm sending your favourite virtual cake in case you're allowed it now. Paul

  • I wonder if it is only me that finds this sentence annoying and patronising a the beginning of every message?? 'I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today?'

  • I just started chair yoga, nice and gentle. I just found a video online and followed that, definitely relaxed my muscles.

    The one word that kept getting thrown at me was baselines, you have to know your baselines and stick to them or stop just before them. Arms are aching like crazy so typing is difficult, I hope that you understand and if not, hopefully someone will explain it. Sorry!

  • I agree with pretty well all that. There are 2 traps we fall in with exercise.

    1 push until it hurts badly

    2 push beyond YOUR limit.

    Baseline is a good concept but hard to explain. You're NOT preparing for a marathon. When medics say "keep moving" they mean just that. It's not a punishment and they probably should add "as far you are able". You might for instance prefer tai chi to circuit training or try Rainbow Elf's idea.

    You may be thinking of hydrotherapy. Yes, it's not the same as in a public baths but even pootling around in a public session may pay dividends.

  • And to stop babbling and answer your question :

    YES

    But why use one word when an essay will do? :P

  • for me physio and hydrotherapy made me worse and less able to cope - i remember with hydro i seized up on the bus and really struggled to get off - i kept going for a few sessions hoping it would get better but in the end agreed with the therapist that it was not going to have the desired effect

    All you can do is give it a try after getting over the strains of moving!

    You are definitely NOT giving up by applying for disability benefits i hope you have applied for Personal Independence Payment and Employment Support Allowance - you should be entitled to both and when given they will be backdated - just remember on all these things think about your worse days

  • Hi Cookie

    I am so glad you have been able to keep active but some of us cannot do that and for us getting into a wheelchair is getting our lives back not giving up in any way. Without my electric wheelchair i could not have continued to work and would have had to stop working 12yrs before i did, without my wheelchair i was housebound but with it i have a life out in the community

    Wheelchairs can be the beginning not the end!

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