Category Archives: Goals

“Oh my Gosh, I’m Lost!” Coping With Fibromyalgia

No, you are not crazy. Your pain and fatigue are real and have a cause.

For one of my patients it came to a head one day while she was driving home from work on the expressway and suddenly realized, “Oh my gosh, I’m lost.”

She shared her experience with me…  She pulled off to the side in amazement. She could hardly think of anything but being tired, getting lost cut through the fog to have an impact. Where was I? Had I passed my exit? Nothing looked familiar. I had to think back to what I last remembered. I had just left work, hadn’t I?

And the little voice in my head kept saying, “I am so tired.” I broke down and cried, but there was no relief in it, so but a moment later I was saying to myself, “I don’t think I’ve gone far enough” as I pulled back onto the expressway.

Soon, I was crying again. “Maybe I should just run my car into that wall. Then I’d get some sleep!” No, I wasn’t serious. I was just being sarcastic with myself. All I wanted was to be myself again! I stopped driving that day for over a year.

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Fibromyalgia Exercise Prescriptions–But What About the Side Effects?

Fibromyalgia exercise prescriptions should be individualized based on your initial functional capacity, severity of pain and fatigue, and tolerance to the problems that activity causes you. A general rule is to do less than you think can be accomplished. Success is a powerful reinforcement and increases the likelihood of maintaining an exercise program.

Inactive persons with FM should begin at a low intensity that is comfortable and pleasant, performing just 5 to 10 minutes of exercise, 3 or more times per week (daily when possible). Recognize that you may have some tolerable short-term increases in pain and fatigue. High intensity, stop-and-go activities and sporadic workouts should be avoided, since overloading sensitive muscle tissues may result in a ‘flare up’ of FM symptoms.

Participate in a variety of activities to avoid repeatedly stressing the same muscles and joints. If you exercise at an appropriate intensity, frequency, and duration, the symptoms caused by the physical activity should resolve within the first few weeks of exercise.

This diagram below provides a graphic representation of a proposed dose-response curve for exercise.

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