Customized Resistance Workouts Boost Fibromyalgia Recovery

Considerable health improvements were seen in female Fibromyalgia with the help of resistance exercises with proper support and customized adjustments. 

Resistance training and fibromyalgia have frequently been viewed as incompatible partners. But according to studies done at Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden, female patients were able to significantly enhance their health with the right support and specially tailored activities.”If the goal for these women is to improve their strength, then they shouldn’t be afraid to exercise, but they need to exercise the right way.

It has long been said that they will only experience more pain because of resistance exercise, that it doesn’t work. But in fact, it does,” says Anette Larsson, whose dissertation was in physical therapy and who is an active physical therapist.

What is Fibromyalgia?

A chronic (long-lasting) condition called fibromyalgia leaves the body delicate and painful throughout, as well as tired and sleep deprived. Although the disorder’s exact source is unknown, those who suffer from it have heightened pain thresholds.Although there is no known treatment for fibromyalgia, medical professionals can help manage and treat the symptoms. Exercise or other movement therapies, psychological and behavioural counselling, and pharmaceuticals are frequently used as part of the treatment process.

Gradual increase in resistance to increase muscle strength

She researched 130 female patients with fibromyalgia, a condition that affects nine out of ten women, as part of her dissertation. The patients ranged in age from 20 to 65. It is characterized by widespread muscle discomfort and heightened pain sensitivity, which is frequently accompanied by exhaustion, a decline in physical ability, and restrictions on everyday activities.67 of the study’s women were chosen at random to participate in a program of person-centered, progressive resistance training under the direction of a physical therapist.

The other 63 women made up the control group, who participated in a more conventional therapy regimen that included relaxation techniques. The workouts and training took place twice a week for fifteen weeks.”The women who did resistance exercise began at very light weights, which were determined individually for each participant because they have highly varying levels of strength.

We began at 40 percent of the max and then remained at that level for three to four weeks before increasing to 60 percent,” explains Anette Larsson.More than six out of ten women were able to exercise to 80% of their maximal capacity. Only one of the ten reached 60%; the rest fell short of that mark. Five people decided to discontinue exercising because their pain levels got worse. The exercise sessions were attended by 71% of the group.

Individually adjusted exercises and support are important to get results

“On a group level, the improvements were significant for essentially everything we measured. The women felt better, gained muscle strength, had less pain, better pain tolerance, better health-related quality of life, and less limitation of activities. Some of the women did not manage the exercise and became worse, which is also an important part of the findings,” says Anette Larsson.Even though the gains in hand and arm strength were not as large in the control group, they nonetheless occurred.

The participants’ shoulders and arms likely became less tense because of the relaxation exercises, allowing them to gain more strength.The degree of pain and anxiety of movement both before and throughout the exercise time are two factors that have an impact on the findings for the women in the resistance exercise group.

According to Anette Larsson, the person-centered strategy, with individually tailored exercises and weights, as well as the help of a physical therapist, is significantly responsible for the group’s progress.”An interview study we conducted shows clearly that the women need support to be able to choose the right exercises and the right loads; they also need help when pain increases. This requires, quite simply, support from someone who knows their disease, preferably a physical therapist.”

Story Source:
Materials provided by the University of Gothenburg. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Page citation:
University of Gothenburg. “Customized resistance exercise a factor for success with fibromyalgia.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2018. <>.

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