Fibromyalgia Action UK
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I have only recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia tho symptoms started about 3 years ago when drs thought I had polymyalgia, symptoms have gotten worse over the last 12 months and my pain is mainly in bed as I can't turn over without it hurting and waking me up, thus I am awake on and off most of the night as I just cannot get comfortable, heavy leg syndrome too. I get a lot of stiffness in my body if I sit for too long, and I get as I can only explain as broken glass pain in my upper arm muscles. I joined a gym at the weekend as the Dr thought exercise may be good, I do walk at least 40 mins a day with my dogs, but went swimming for the first time in a long time and noticed how I could barely move my arms and legs and was very slow, however I did manage about 6 lengths of the pool. I also suffer with my knees and cannot get in the bath any more as I cannot get myself out as the pain is very bad and I don't seem to have the strength in my arms and wrists to get on my knees to get out of the bath. Anyway, after the swimming I paid for it yesterday as was in constant pain all day, tho I think I may have done too much in the day too. I just want to know if exercising has helped many people on here as my husband seems very sceptical about it!!

7 Replies

Hello Cruz. exercise is like all things fibro, What works for one does not work for another. It is trial and error finding out what you can do. I think that maybe 40 mins walking and 6 lengths swimming is a bit ambitious for the best of us.

Most do gentle exercises in water as it also helps to ease the pain, Or so i believe.

As for me i went from 30 -60 mins with the dogs. A 30 min walk to work. along with all the housework to, well today i am managing 3 or 4 steps without having to stop. On other days i can get down the garden and back no problem.

Others can do a lot better and they will be best telling you about exercise. My physio gave up the second time i went. :p



I actually found that the exercises given by the physio which I have been doing religiously twice a day since last October seemed to be making me worse. Previous to that it was stretching, slow walking and light gardening just to keep me active. I have decided to go back to a much lighter regime to see how I respond to that.

With fibro it seems that you must build up very gently. Even when I was relatively fit it took me weeks to get to do 5 lengths when I hadn't swum for some years and I had previously been a good swimmer. It was six months before I got to the 70 lengths that I used to do. Many people who were in the baths were just standing still doing gentle exercises in the water but without actually swimming. Eg exercise the top gently and then hold onto the side and exercise the bottom half gently then slowly build up to actual swimming. Others were actually walking the lengths to build up the muscles in their legs.

I don't know whether there is access to a Hydro Pool near you where the water is fabulously warm. I had six sessions and we were supervised doing exercises with bands and very light weights and it was the first time I felt I was making some progress but then unfortunately the NHS would not fund any more sessions.

If you were near a class Tai Chi is supposed to be excellent as it is long, slow movements.

All the doctors and physios do seem to prescribe movement and not sitting in the same position for any length of time but not doing anything that is too rigourous and building up gently over a period of months. They all seem to agree that walking as much as you can is a good thing but if it is possible to walk on grass or a soft surface rather than on pavements where the muscles and joints can be jarred.

Good lucks with everything.x


Hi there cruz and I'm so sorry you are suffering so much at the moment. I think in general terms exercise is good, but only if you find an exercise which suits you and your body. I agree with Rosewine that Tai Chi could be a good way to go as it is very gentle stretching. I consider myself very blessed that unless my back is horrendous, I don't find walking too painful and I do try to do some every day, some days much less than others, listen to your body and let it lead you as to what it can/can't cope with. This can of course be a somewhat painful procedure, but it could be worth it, I work on a "use it or lose it" basis.

You may also find swimming, say in a warm hydrotherapy pool may be of benefit and rather than doing lengths, just walk through the water, that in itself was an exercise set by the physio on my pain management team. I found it hard as having been a county level swimmer my inclination is to go for it but I found out to my detriment that it isn't a good idea, especially with my shoulder replacement 👀

You say you walk 40 mins a day with your dog, which to me sounds pretty good, they recommend at least 20 mins a day and you are doubling that, but do try and pace yourself, which bring me on to asking if you could be referred to a pain management team which would put you in touch with Physio's who can give you a more structured plan suitable for your pain levels.

Do let us know how you get on, and I'm sending lots of healing and pain busting vibes your way 😀😀

Foggy x


I do very gentle physio which helps me and physio is recommended but gentle is the key word really


its never done me any good. the next morning i can just about get to the toilet.


I think the trick is to build it up gradually and do it regularly. I walk around 5 miles 5 days a week. I dabble in a bit of at home yoga. I don't do intense or strenuous activities, but my energy levels and stamina are much better now than they were back when i did not walk and exercise so much. it did take a while for the stamina to build up and for me to not need a nap straight afterm though!

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Hi , this is the first time I'm replying to some one , I had severe whiplash at 19, that the beginning of fms was only diagnosed about 7 yrs ago , I too have the heavy leg problems and all over pain , but severe on my neck hip and foot , in a lot of pain , joined gym it was hard at first and had to stick to 15 or 20 min s , suffer day after , have to do tiny bits of house work , crafts etc then rest , I bought an ultra sound machine , same as Coalville hospitals , only use occasionally but it's the only thing that has ever helped me, also have sensative touch as well,

Would love to meet up with people in the same boat , for company and maybe laughter. To lighten our loads . Julie


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