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quote:Effectiveness of exercise in management of fibromyalgia.Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2004 Mar;16(2):138-42.Gowans SE, DeHueck A.Department of Rehabilitation Services, University Health Network,Physiotherapy Department, Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital, and Department ofPhysical Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.PMID: 14770100SUMMARY:pURPOSE OF REVIEW Exercise was established as an integral part of thenonpharmacological treatment of fibromyalgia approximately 20 years ago.Since then many studies have investigated the effects of exercise-eitheralone or in combination with other interventions. This review will discussthe benefits of exercise alone and provide practical suggestions on howpatients can exercise without causing a long-term exacerbation of their pain.RECENT FINDINGS Short-term exercise programs for individuals withfibromyalgia have consistently improved physical function, especiallyphysical fitness, and reduced tenderpoint pain. Exercise has also producedimprovements in self-efficacy. These effects can persist for periods of upto 2 years but may require participants to continue to exercise. Mostexercise studies have examined the effects of moderately intense aerobicexercise. Only in the past 2 years have muscle-strengthening programs, inisolation, been evaluated. To be well tolerated, exercise programs muststart at a level just below the capacity of the participants and thenprogress slowly. Even with these precautions, exercise may still producetolerable, short-term increases in pain and fatigue that should abatewithin the first few weeks of exercising.SUMMARY Future studies should investigate the possible benefits oflow-intensity exercise and test strategies that may enhance long-termcompliance with exercise. Individuals with fibromyalgia also need to beable to access community exercise programs that are appropriate for them.This may require community instructors to receive instruction on exerciseprescription and progression for individuals with fibromyalgia.
In light of that article, I was wondering how much advice and support those of you with Fibromyalgia have received from doctors about exercising, what sort of exercise, for how long etc.
 

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Susan, the family doctor that I have now has always advocated exercise. She says it every time I go in to see her. She would like for me to get into some regular type of walking program (I have to admit I haven't been too good of late). I use the treadmill, but I get so bored with it. I can't wait for spring to come so I can go for walks outdoors. The best doctor I had was a rheumatologist that left her practice to go to Egypt. She enrolled me in swimming classes and said she would enroll me in other programs to help me deal with the fm. She worked out of a hospital that was known for its rehabilitation programs. Since she left I've been on my own more or less. She was a very compassionate and understanding doctor. I know that when I do gentle stretching I do feel better. Otherwise I wake up in the morning feeling very stiff and achey. I find that it's getting the motivation to do it when you are feeling crappy. Maybe I just need to push myself more.
 

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Two weeks ago, I finally went to a local doctor known for his work with fibro patients, and admitted my suspicions of having this disease. He immediately put me on a low dose of elavil and made me promise to do 10 mins. of yoga in the am and 10 mins. in the pm.I have my next appointment with him tomorrow. I'll have to tell him I haven't been doing the yoga every day, but I did work 50 hrs. both weeks in the snow and ice (with a sinus infection). This is a major victory for me!I am going to ask if I can mix in some T'ai Chi And Quigong. These both put emphasis on breathing, stretching and balance. I will let you all know.Cathy
 
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