Thursday, April 15, 2010
Don't stay piled up on the couch or feel like you're riding backwards.
Short Bursts of Activity Ease Fibromyalgia
Walking More, Gardening, Taking the Stairs Help Fibromyalgia Patients Feel and Function Better, Study Finds
By Denise Mann
WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Laura J. Martin, MDMarch 29, 2010
Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing if you are among the 10 million Americans living with the chronic pain disorder fibromyalgia. Yet a new study shows that incorporating short bursts of physical activity into the day makes fibromyalgia patients feel and function better. The findings appear in Arthritis Research & Therapy.
"Just trying to accumulate a little more physical activity throughout the normal course of the day, as opposed to engaging in traditional exercise, can improve self-reported measures of functioning and pain among people with fibromyalgia," lead researcher Kevin Fontaine, PhD, an assistant professor of rheumatology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, tells WebMD in an email. "You don't necessarily have to do traditional exercise to reap some benefits, [and] this may motivate people with fibromyalgia who find it difficult to stick with traditional exercise to simply try to get a little more active during the day."
In the 12-week study of 84 people with fibromyalgia, people who incorporated 30 minutes' worth of lifestyle physical activity into their days five to seven days a week took 54% more steps per day than their counterparts who participated in a fibromyalgia education program, which discussed the importance of physical activity in the treatment of this disease, but did not provide any specific recommendations. The lifestyle physical activity group also reported fewer perceived deficits in their physical function and less pain than people in the disease education group, the study showed.