Short Bursts Of Physical Activity May Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

Fibromyalgia is one of the more difficult chronic pain syndromes to treat.

More than ten million US adults, mostly women, suffer from this disease and are desperately looking to alleviate the daily onslaught of chronic pain, and short bursts of physical activity can help.
Because those with fibromyalgia are riddled with pain, exercise is often the last thing on their minds.

But, new research published in the Journal Arthritis Research and Therapy indicates that short, intense bursts of physical activity help fibromyalgia patients feel better and function better in their daily lives.

The thought of doing a full thirty minutes of exercise can be daunting for the fibromyalgia patient, but this study used “lifestyle physical activity,” which are short bursts of physical activity incorporated into the day.

This includes, but is not limited to taking the stairs, walking more, and riding a bike to a nearby store instead of taking the car

Even gardening! Virtually anything that involves movement.


Short Bursts of Physical Activity Video

Doing short bursts of exercise that take less time is more of a motivator for physical activity, after all, anyone, even those with chronic pain can wrap their minds around a little bit of exercise as opposed to exercising for longer periods of time.

The 12-week study involved 84 people with fibromyalgia. One group was told to engage in lifestyle physical activity for 5 to 7 days out of their week, while the other group only took part in an educational program about fibromyalgia.

The group that was more physically active took 54% more steps during the course of the day when compared to the control group.

At the end of the study, those in the activity group reported fewer deficits in physical functioning and a decrease in their pain when compared to the control group that did not engage in physical activity.

According to the research, short bursts of activity, lasting ten minutes or less but that have some degree of intensity to them can improve both cardiovascular health and the perception of pain.

These short bursts of activity seem to be as effective or better than 30 minutes of traditional forms of exercise, such as cycling, walking, running, or swimming.

Walking is a great way to get started and is gentle on the joints.