What exercise works for fibromyalgia?

What exercise works for fibromyalgia?

Water Exercise and Fibromyalgia Pain from webMD

Exercise is often the last thing we feel like doing and many people find that walking aggravates the pain for days after. Walking in warm water or water aerobics may be the solution if it is accessible to you.

Physical therapy in warm water has been effective and highly recommended for persons with fibromyalgia, but its efficiency remains largely unknown. 
If you have fibromyalgia pain, you're likely clenching right now.
"Clenching is an involuntary reaction to stress," says Doris Cope, MD, director of Pain Management at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "People tense their muscles, and probably don't even realize they're doing it. That reduces blood flow to the muscles, which causes pain."
That's why moving in warm water is great for reducing pain as it relaxes the muscles and gets blood flow to the muscles and tendons.

You don't need to be a swimmer to join in a water exercise class: at the group I joined many people stood in the shallow water and hung onto the railing to do the movements and there was no swimming or floating involved.  There was even a hoist to lift some people, who could not manage the stairs, into the water. I personally find exercises in warm water essential to soothe my pain and turn it down. I do weekly classes of hydrotherapy and research has been done to explain the importance of this non-pharmacological strategy for managing fibromyalgia, as long as these aquatic classes were maintained. 

hydrotherapy for fibromyalgia

Check out the link above which includes information about studies from Spain done on water aerobics. These studies were done at the University of Extremadura, Spain and the University of Evora, Portugal, and published in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.

The study showed participants experienced improvement in their fibromyalgia symptoms including: (1) mobility,
(2) self-care,
(3) daily activities,
(4) pain and discomfort, and
(5) anxiety or depression.

Research Article in the journal Arthritis Research and Therapy.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Starting hydrotherapy for Fibromyalgia

Hydrotherapy Benefits Fibromyalgia Patients Only If They Stick With It, Study Reveals


  1. That is great but some people find the hot water actually brings on fatigue

  2. Yes I have heard this about fatigue and hot water for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and some other autoimmune diseases. I'm not sure about this and fibromyalgia but everyone is different.


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