Does physical activity help in fibromyalgia?

Does physical activity help in fibromyalgia?

Francesco Garritano Nutritionist, home, physical activity, fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia in recent years has aroused the interest of research because more and more cases are beginning to be related to this syndrome, cases that were  often confused  and identified as common “back pain”, arthritis or other diseases that cause deformities of structures joint.

Fibromyalgia in synthesis

This syndrome is defined as a pathology having the main target  muscles  and their insertions with the bones in the area of ​​the  back. 

This disorder is defined  by the Italian Fibromyalgic Syndrome Association (AISF), as a form of  extra-articular rheumatism  or soft tissue.

There is also an increase in muscle tension especially during movement, as well as chronic pain in tendons and ligaments. A widespread annoyance that is often associated with stiffness, asthenia and fatigue. This condition also has a negative effect on sleep, because the stimuli and annoyances during the night are excessively felt, which also leads to a decrease in serotonin levels.

This whole series of symptoms causes an annoyance that can also affect mental stability and lead to understandable anxiogenic consequences rather than depressive phenomena in affected patients.

In  summary , the most common fibromyalgia symptoms are:

  • sleep disorders
  • musculotensive or migraine headache
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Stiffness in movements, especially in the morning
  • Irregular alve (constipation or diarrhea)
  • Tingles and sensations similar to bites
  • Disturbance of diuresis (possible burning)
  • Swelling at the extremities of the upper limbs
  • Disorder at the thoracic area
  • Cerebral disorder (memory loss, impaired concentration, anxiety, depression)

The most serious problem in these cases is the fact that it is not possible to diagnose this condition 100%, so it is necessary to investigate at the clinical level to determine the possible presence of this syndrome that could be due to the work performed by the subject, to a genetic familiarity, allergic reactions or immune system involvement.

Fibromyalgia solutions

Possible strategies to combat this syndrome are being studied.

Since there is no specific cure, the drugs used are limited only to counteract the presence of symptoms, often ineffective. At the moment the best strategy is represented by a healthy lifestyle that includes an adequate and balanced diet in individual nutrients as well as the practice of activity. In particular, it is precisely on sport that our attention is focused.

This is because it is a syndrome that affects and weakens the muscles, it is important to intervene with the movement to go to reverse this situation.

In patients with fibromyalgia, exercise is indicated for symptomatic treatment, but little is known about the actual inflammatory response to exercise and the changes that develop in these patients.

Although it is still unclear how physiologically the exercise can positively influence, many studies show the effectiveness of the movement, in particular in the reduction of pain perception and muscle gain, factors that contribute to the reduction of symptoms. In particular, soft sports disciplines such as pilates and Biodanza have been shown to bring benefits in this direction. Physical exercise can also have a positive influence from a psychological point of view, favoring the reduction of anxiety and improving the mood of patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

Therefore, from the numerous studies it is clear that physical activity and movement are fundamental for the treatment of fibromyalgia. It is important to set up an individualized training path aimed at gradual improvement of the muscles, otherwise inadequate exercises could even lead to worsening of symptoms. For this reason it is recommended to maintain an active life without limiting normal daily activities, to avoid prolonged periods of inactivity and to engage in moderate sports activities based on the individual’s training. It is also essential to contact a professional who can advise the right path to follow. ..


Dr. Francesco Garritano

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