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Lifestyle Changes to Manage Fibromyalgia

The following lifestyle changes may help you manage fibromyalgia.

Exercise

Exercise is perhaps the most effective way to improve fibromyalgia symptoms. Benefits include:
  • Prevention of muscle atrophy
  • Reduction in muscle stiffness
  • Reduction of pain and fatigue
  • Improved sense of well-being
  • Increased flexibility
Your exercise program should begin with mild activity and gradually increase over time. Try to incorporate different types of exercise, like:
  • Aerobic activity
  • Strength training
  • Flexibility exercises
Exercising in a heated pool may offer benefits. In one small study, researchers found that people with fibromyalgia who participated in aquatic training in warm water (strength, aerobic, and relaxation exercises) reported an improvement in symptoms.

Relaxation Techniques

Some people with fibromyalgia have found that certain techniques that help you relax and reduce stress may be helpful in managing chronic pain. Examples of successful techniques include:

References

Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases%5FAnd%5FConditions/Fibromyalgia. Updated February 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Fibromyalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated July 15, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Fibromyalgia/default.asp. Updated August 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Treatment. Fibromyalgia Network website. Available at: http://www.fmnetnews.com/fibro-basics/treatment. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Treatment. National Fibromyalgia Association website. Available at: http://fmaware.org/site/PageServerf195.html?pagename=fibromyalgia%5Ftreated. Accessed August 8, 2013.

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