Does anyone know if exercise works - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK
48,285 members59,903 posts

Does anyone know if exercise works


was watching a pain programme the other night, this person had extreme back ache and the man had arthritis in his knees.. after both being put on a programme of exercise they became pain free... i have tried in the past but the pain afterwords was horrible.. Do you think its worth giving it a go again or, is it not going to work for fibromyalgia ..

10 Replies

Exercise is very important in getting control of Fibro, but it has to be in an appropriate way. You can't just go down the gym and start working out and expect it to make you feel better!

Exercise is important for general health. It is important for maintaining mobility and muscle tone. It can help reduce depression.

A high level of fitness may protect someone against developing Fibro. Exercise may help protect someone with Fibro against getting worse (if you're currently doing regular exercise, don't stop!). Done correctly, it can also help relieve myofascial pain, reduce the incidence of myofascial trigger points, manage hypermobility and manage positional cervical cord compression, all of which are common among people with Fibro.

If you're not currently doing any exercise, start by checking with your GP and consultant (if you have one) that it is okay to try exercising. You may have something else going on alongside the Fibro that means certain types of exercise would cause physical damage or other harm.

A referral to physiotherapy is then a good place to start, especially if you are currently not very fit. See this blog article on Physio & Fibro:


It is important that you learn how to exercise in such a way that it doesn't put joints under strain (hypermobility is common among people with Fibro and means extra care is needed) and also to prevent you putting any strain on your neck (especially important in light of research into positional cervical cord compression & Fibro).

It is also important that you get myofascial restrictions identified and dealt with, even if this is just through a programme of stretching and heat applications to do at home. A muscle with active trigger points on it will be painful to use, will get a build-up of lactic acid faster than normal and will not respond properly to strengthening exercises.

It is also important to make sure your sleep quality is being addressed. A lack of restorative sleep is a core symptom of Fibro and it means that you cannot physically recover properly from your day and also that you will struggle to build up muscle mass properly.

Start low and slow. If you are very unfit, this could mean starting with only 5 minutes of stretching in a pool. But gradually work up what you are doing and for how long you are exercising.

Hi Diane i agree with everything lynsey says, i dont know if you heard of the pain management unit but your gp can refer you, they are really helpful and can work with you over time to keep you moving, also with your gp's agreement and a signed form which you can pick up at any hydro pool, you may feel some benefit from the pool. as you have probably found out the less activity you do the more pain and stiffness you get, but you must pace yourself and there are so many forms of activity that can be done llike chair exercises etc, pacing yourself and tryint to keep some movement will be beneficial in the long run.

good luck, hugs poppy xx

Hi I saw the same program. After watching it it made me fell as if anyone was in pain they should go and do lots of exercise and go to the gym. I thought the program might have been helpfull but it made me fell i was'nt doing enough and i felt quite down. I do go swimming 1/2 times a week with a friend but shes in America for 4 weeks. I do feel a bit better for going. soft hugs xx


I am a great believer in exercise in moderation, for example I walk on my treadmill and really feel the benefit. I rest afterwards and pace myself and in doing this I ensure that I don't overdo it. My mind feels clearer when I exercise and I feel more able to cope with my Fibro pain, I sleep and eat better too when I exercise. It's too easy to get bogged down by everyday problems, being stuck in the house etc., a clearer mind is a happier mind too! :) :)

I was told to exercise by Physio in 09, starting with 10 mins..even thro l was doing more than that just looking after myself, 6 cats & 2 dogs...l have walked the dogs(they are my sons but l walk them sometimes) on average twice a week,l also get out into local fields to get my wildlife pics(once a month if l am lucky)and yet on only 3 occasions in the past 2 years can l say that the exercise actually made me feel better, usually when l get back from walking the dogs (30 mins)l am shattered and spend the next hour resting, l have lost weight(down to original 7 stone)most likely because l don't eat enough, frequently hungry but am just too tired to get something to eat. I think you really have to know just how much you can do and this is not easy as everyday is different(for me at any rate)and of course being the type of person l am, on a good day l tend to overdo it then pay for it!!!

Hi Dianne I saw that programme too, but in way does it represent the pain of Fibro. Exercise is good as the programme hi lighted when the Dr was put in plaster for 6 days the muscles in his arm had started to wither, so yes gentle stretching exercises and walking is probably the best exercise not overdoing it is the key, also walking is healty because you can get outaside.

Hugs x x x x

Hi there, remaining active is the key to living your life with FMS. I spent a year sat around when not at work and I can tell you that it was the worse time for me. Around 15 months ago I joined the local council gym scheme. This meant that for £20 a month I can go swimming/gym as many times as I want. I go swimming 3 times a week and gym once or twice. It is hard to motivate yourself and you may find it painful (I do!) but it really does help with mobility and pAin management. In my job I walk 6-8 miles per day so it is difficult think about additional excercise but I do it anyway:-) Excercise is good, in moderation, that's my experience anyway. I hope this helps, gentle hugs.x

thank u all so much for the moment i dont do much.... sometimes even sitting up is a big effort.... and i am being serious, i get tired in a sitting up position and only feel well when lying down. when i am up right i can feel fatigued, pain, sick, dizzy ect.. anyone else feel like this.. or should i be pushing myself further, i have tried and tried sitting and walking around house for like 5 mins rest 5 mins rest but nothing works xxx x

I am currently 7 months pregnant and have had pelvic girdle pain since around 14 weeks of pregnancy, apparently I am more prone to it because of the fibro. the pain in my hips and knees has been worse than ever, after seeing a physio and being recommended a gym ball, I've not looked back. I sit on it and do little rolls and bounces, very very light exercise (in front of the tv) and its really built up my core muscles and helped with my hips.

Obviously i am pregnant, but anyone can use a fitness/gym ball. Its by far the best thing I have tried and will continue to use it after the pregnancy.

thanks so much again.. xx

You may also like...