Consumer Health: Fibromyalgia and exercise

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Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.

You may be reluctant to exercise, for fear that it will aggravate your fibromyalgia symptoms, but research shows that regular moderate exercise lessens pain and improves function. And different types of exercises can help in different ways. It’s important to pace yourself, though. If you do too much on your good days, you may have more bad days. If an exercise causes you increased pain, reduce the time or intensity of that exercise next time.

Learn more about how exercise may help your symptoms of fibromyalgia, and what type of activities might be right for you.

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