Can Pilates and Stretching Really Help Fibromyalgia Pain?

By: Steven Giles


Fibromyalgia is a syndrome characterized by pain in the soft tissues and muscles that can be felt below and above the waist. In order to have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a sufferer has to have pain or tenderness in at least 11 of the overall18 trigger points on the body when pressure is applied. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are a variety of methods that can be combined in order to help control it's devastating symptoms.

Simple changes in lifestyle have the ability to go a long way when it comes to prevention of any chronic illness. Since fibromyalgia's main symptoms are pain, certain action is necessary to take in order to help control it from becoming any worse. Pilates and stretching exercises can be performed to help alleviate some of the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Pilates is basically an exercise that was invented to build strength in the core muscles, and to help reduce pain. The movements are small and safe. Anyone can do them, even if they have a chronic condition like fibromyalgia. With fibromyalgia, there needs to be some form of physical activity that can help to strengthen the body.

Unlike heavy weight lifting or aerobic activity, Pilates and stretching will not tire you out. Instead, strength of the spine and core muscles is mastered through small, controlled movements that are done on a comfortable floor mat. There is no pressure whatsoever. The movements are not meant to be uncomfortable in the least bit. They were strictly designed to help the body reduce pain, regain it's natural spinal alignment, and to build inner strength.

Pilates and stretching exercises can be done as many times per day as you see fit, but two will be enough to see a difference. The workouts are usually no longer than 10 minutes, depending on which one that you would like to perform for the day. There is a lot of stretching and toning involved in the workouts, which makes this an even more beneficial exercise for fibromyalgia sufferers. Be careful not to push yourself too far when performing these movements. If they begin to cause pain, then the best thing to do is stop the exercises, relax, stretch, and then try again without overdoing it. Fortunately, Pilates movements have been designed to be so safe that it is quite difficult to overdo it. There shouldn't be too much of a concern for injury if everything is done correctly, and slowly.

It all comes down to living a more healthy lifestyle. Pilates and stretching exercises help to increase pain tolerance because a considerable amount of strength is added to the body. When those inner core muscles become stronger, they become more resistant to stress. Exercising naturally increases the chemicals in the brain associated with pain relief, which in turn increases the benefits of performing a daily Pilates and stretching routine. These exercises also increase mobility in those that have a hard time performing a full range of movement. The benefits are very plentiful, and the pain reduction is real.

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