Mar 9, 2020 2:30:05 PM

Exercise and Fibromyalgia



What happens (with exercise) when you suffer from fibromyalgia ?

Typically exercise will elicit an effect under 'normal metabolic conditions'; as feeling fatigue initially but feeling energized after a short rest.  I am sure everyone knows about 'lactic acid' the metabolic by-product of exercise/muscular activity.  In most individuals this is expressed into the muscular cells and causes pain and tightness temporarily. This called DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)

These feelings are enjoyable for most as it helps them be energized for the day, sleep better at night and feel less pain overall if activating stiff joints and muscles.

Unfortunately for those minority few, exercise has a negative benefit. The feelings of pain are increased and prolonged for the same amount of exercise as their counterpart.  Fibromyalgia is pain in the tissues often occurring in varying sites of the person's musculoskeletal system. Some of these pains can be very intense and local, others are more diffuse occurring over a span of area such as along a tendon attachment and associated muscle belly.  With exercise/muscular activity force is exerted on the system and can cause greater amounts of lactic acid or poor shunting (removal from tissue) of lactic acid.  This inevitably can cause longer pain periods due to the exercise.

HOW do we avoid this?

The rate and frequency of exercise/muscle activity will dictate how long the pain will last into the next interval.  During the movements, particularly those with:

  • resistance (weights),
  • leaping or hopping (ground reaction forces are high),
  • and long endurance activity,

cause the most prolonged pain. Regulating these are key.

We recommend two things:

  • using submaximal fatigue points and specificity training during the activity,
  • and assistive flushing techniques after the exercise (Use our WBPA, cold treatment, dynamic stretching, bathing) 

These sound complicated, but essentially help with all fatigue and lactic acid removal.  While still achieving some strength, endurance and joint support!

This topic warrants some deeper discussion, but for those who really want support we can direct you to our work and information. Seeing a Nutritionist combined with a Clinical Exercise Specialist will help you improve and avoid flare ups.


Pain is the substance of life, and the root of personality, because only suffering is a person.

~ Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo

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