Study: Exercise may help memory of Fibro patients

Exercise may help memory of Fibro patients
This was a study on fibromyalgia, memory and exercise.

Fibromyalgia patients who stopped taking their medication and then exercised regularly for six weeks reported improved memory function and less pain, according to a small, study.

I think this is an interesting study, especially for those of us with cognitive symptoms and those who are not happy taking medications for their Fibromyalgia.

Exercise has long been recommended to fibromyalgia patients, and some find it improves their sense of well-being.

"This is a first look at understanding how exercise alters memory performance, Dr. Brian Walitt, director of the Fibromyalgia Evaluation and Research Center at Georgetown University Medical Center said of the study.

The interesting part of the study, to me, was that when they initially took the fibro patients off the medicine, they performed worse on the tests and then the longer they stayed off the medications and exercised, their cognitive performance returned to normal levels. Also the women, in the study, had to do three thirty minute sessions of aerobic activity a week and Dr Walitt admitted that some people with Fibromyalgia may not be able to do this.

memory infographic
Look below for the complete infographic on how memory works

The main take away for me from this research was that:

One of the main issues in brain fog is the inability to get oxygen and nutrients to the brain. In some people this can be a circulation issue so it makes sense that exercise can help.

So apparently the next time we are experiencing a bad bout of fibro fog we just have to remember to exercise! Well I guess really we should be exercising on a regular basis.

What kind of exercise will you be doing or are you doing regularly? I am doing hydrotherapy just once a week but I hope to increase that soon and I also do some simple arm and leg and neck exercises every single day.

I would love you to post the exercise you do here, especially if you feel it benefits your fibro.

You may also like this article on Yoga and the benefits to people with Fibromyalgia.

Yoga is not considered an aerobic activity but may be easier for some people to participate in.


Brian Walitt, M.D., M.P.H., director, Fibromyalgia Evaluation and Research Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; I. Jon Russell, M.D., Ph.D., fibromyalgia researcher and consultant, San Antonio, Texas; Nov. 13, 2011, presentation, Society of Neuroscience annual meeting, in Washington, D.C.

memory and how it works
To view memory infographic more clearly go here 


  1. Interesting post! Makes sense that excercise would increase endorphine levels to help with pain. I like you included the 'hydro therapy', it's going to be gentle going with alot of people, cause 3 30min aerobic sessions?! These must be 'super' fms women! :)

    1. Yes super FMS women indeed! I included hydrotherapy as it's the only execise I can do that does not seem to increase pain but even then i have to go slow with only a few reps and not push myself. I have tried walking a gain recently but it causes fatigue and pain even at 15 minutes which is so annoying.

  2. I do a lot of "on the floor" exercises. I may be lying on the floor to do the stretches, but they get my heart rate up and I sweat from it. My physical therapist taught me the stretches to strengthen my core in order to improve my hips and decrease pain.

    1. This is interesting Brandi. I do exercises lying down but I don't get my heart rate up - they are more like stretches. Shown to me by a physiotherapist. I will discuss with them your kind of exercises... thanks

  3. Hi Lee. My brain fog improved after going off my medications. It took a couple weeks but I do not experience brain fog to the extent I did when taking Lyrica and antidepressants. I started exercising later but I can only do gentle exercises like walking, stretching, gentle yoga, etc. Otherwise I get too worn out and am in more pain.

    1. Hi Sue, sounds like we have the exact same experiences. I no longer take any meds as my family said it was like I wasn't there. I still get brain fog but is diminished in intensity. I also can only do very limited and gentle exercise. Good Luck with it all.

  4. I can't exercise in to much pain. And if I ever do exercise I'm laid up with the pain.

    1. Hi Unknown, so sorry to hear this but it is very common in Fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses that it aggravates the pain. I think it is because we have to start out very very slowly and build up. This has been one of my challenges too.


Thanks for your input