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Fibromyalgia symptoms may improve with exercise

If you have fibromyalgia you may be experiencing pain, fatigue, and tender points throughout your body including pain in your shoulders, neck, hip and back. You may have pain on both the left and right side of your body combined with a variety of other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, leg cramps and persistent headaches.

One of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia, however, is the pain. Unfortunately the pain may start in one particular area, than spread through your body over time. It is also not unusual for other factors to increase you pain including the weather, stress, sleep and your activities.

It is estimated that approximately 10 percent of the adult population in the United States has fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia-like conditions. Although experts are not quite sure about the causes of fibromyalgia, experts believe that fibromyalgia is a disorder of pain processing which could be caused by signals which are processed incorrectly in the central nervous system.

Regardless of the cause, many individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia find that their condition makes it difficult for them to complete common activities. But what about exercise? Is exercising a good idea if you have fibromyalgia?

How does exercise affect Fibromyalgia?

One common question many fibromyalgia patients want to know is whether or not exercise will worsen their pain or if it could possibly make their condition better over time. According to a study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, published in the current online issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research, doing “light to moderate exercise over a prolonged period of time improves overall symptoms, such as fatigue and trouble sleeping, while not increasing pain.”

According to the research, fibromyalgia suffers may experience aggravating pain when they start exercising, but the researchers hope to encourage suffers to keep doing some amount of moderate exercise. Researchers believe moderate exercise will eventually “improve their overall health and reduce their symptoms without worsening their pain."

What is moderate exercise? Researchers classified moderate intensity exercise as light jogging or brisk walking for 20 minutes a day. The volunteers for the study included 170 volunteers who each participated in a 36-week study. At the completion of the study the researchers found that participants who performed “moderate intensity exercise for at least 12 weeks showed greater improvements in clinical symptoms as compared to participants who were unable to achieve higher levels of physical activity. “

The study also concluded that participants who performed long-term physical activity at levels consistent with current medical recommendations did not have a higher level of pain or symptoms due to their fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and SSDI benefits

Many claimants who have fibromyalgia do not feel like they have the ability to maintain a full-time job. So do they qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance? Unfortunately, it is very difficult for individuals who only have fibromyalgia to get SSDI unless they have other conditions or symptoms which substantially lower their ability to work.
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