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The following lifestyle changes may help you manage fibromyalgia.

Exercise is perhaps the most effective way to improve fibromyalgia symptoms. Benefits include:

  • Prevention of muscle atrophy
  • Reduction in muscle stiffness
  • Reduction of pain and fatigue
  • Improved sense of well-being
  • Increased flexibility

Your exercise program should begin with mild activity and gradually increase over time. Try to incorporate different types of exercise, like:

  • Aerobic activity
  • Strength training
  • Flexibility exercises

Exercising in a heated pool may offer benefits. In one small study, researchers found that people with fibromyalgia who participated in aquatic training in warm water (strength, aerobic, and relaxation exercises) reported an improvement in symptoms.

Some people with fibromyalgia have found that certain techniques that help you relax and reduce stress may be helpful in managing chronic pain. Examples of successful techniques include:

References:

Treatment. Fibromyalgia Network website. Available at: http://www.fmnetnews.com/fibro-basics/treatment. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Treatment. National Fibromyalgia Association website. Available at: http://fmaware.org/site/PageServerf195.html?pagename=fibromyalgia_treated. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Fibromyalgia. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Fibromyalgia. Updated February 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Fibromyalgia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated July 15, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Fibromyalgia. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp. Updated August 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.

Last reviewed August 2013 by Rimas Lukas, MD; Brian Randall, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.