Individuals who deal with the daily muscle aches, fatigue, and other painful symptoms associated with fibromyalgia (or other chronic illnesses) may cringe at the very thought of increasing exercise and physical activity. It seems to go against logic to exercise more when you are already feeling pain. Yet, the reality is that exercises — the right ones customized to fit individual needs — can benefit people with fibromyalgia and other musculoskeletal diseases and disorders instead of exacerbating their symptoms.
Exercises for Fibromyalgia is tailored to improve fitness and energy levels without causing strain or stiffness. The exercises are focused on relieving pain, improving sleep, and increasing strength, flexibility, and balance for fibromyalgia sufferers.
If you or a loved one are affected by the syndrome, you know that people with fibromyalgia often experience issues with dizziness, balance, and coordination — all of which make them more prone to the risk of falling. Below are a few exercises from Exercises for Fibromyalgia to help improve balance:
1. Heel to Toe Rocks
(Works entire body)
Rock back and forth from the toes to heels as a partner (spotter) provides support and balance if needed.
2. Physio-Ball Walk Up
(Works legs, hips and core)
Position your hips on top of the physio-ball (Swiss ball). Brace your core. Walk up the ball using your full foot, until you are sitting up straight on the ball. Keeping your feet wider adds stability if you feel off balance during the up or down phases.
3. Clock Series: Single Foot Touches
(Works legs and hips)
Imagine you are standing in the center of a clock face. Touch 2 or 3 numbers around the clock. As you become more comfortable, touch more numbers, then switch feet.
4. Doggy Door
(Works groin and hips)
Begin on all fours with your hands and knees planted firmly on the ground. Keep your core active to stabilize your back and hips. With your non-lifting hip still pressed firm into the ground, lift the opposite knee with the outside hip muscle. Be careful not to shift your weight to the non-working side. Switch legs and repeat.
Note: As always, use caution and be sure to listen to your body– if the pose becomes to difficult, stop or switch to a more gentle variation.
Reprinted with permission from Exercises for Fibromyalgia ISBN: 978-1-57826-361-5, $15.00 (paperback). New from Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.