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PILATES BASED EXERCISE FOR FIBROMYALGIA: MULTIPLE CASE REPORT

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PILATES-BASED EXERCISE FOR FIBROMYALGIA; MULTIPLE CASE REPORT

AUTHORS; Ostalecki,S. Ph.D.; Gentle Pilates, Novi, MI, USA.
Tamler, M. MD; William Beaumont Hospital. Royal Oak, MI, USA.

 

SUBJECTS: 15 subjects (3 Male, 12 Female); mean age 55 years, age range 50-65.

MATERIAL/METHODS: Inclusion criteria: Community dwelling adults with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Subjects volunteered to participate in 2x per week 50-minute mat class for 4 months taught by a PMA/Polestar certified instructor.

Subjects received the following pre-tests and post-test at 6 weeks and then at the conclusion of the study.

Fibromyalgia (FM) Impact Questionnaire (FIQR)

Assessing: Function, Symptoms, and Overall Life Activities

Universal Pain Assessment Tool

Assessing: Weekly Pain levels

Functional Tests

Heel raise test, Goal Post, ½ squat, Spine Extension (prone), core strength (supine)

KEY WORDS: Pilates based mat exercise, Gentle Pilates, Pain, Fibromyalgia

FUNDING: None

Results: All of the subjects completed the study, even though less than half of patients in our study were provided recommendations to initiate an exercise program as part of their treatment plan.

Post test at 6 weeks showed improvements in the following areas: level of pain, 2 points, level of energy, 2 points, level of stiffness, 6 points, level of depression, 6 points, balance, 3 points, heel raise: increase in reps from 2 to 5. Pain levels fluctuated which is typical of FM patients, but assessment was in the 4-6 ranges as opposed to the starting range 9-10. The most significant changes were seen in pain levels, depression and ease of movement. At the onset of the study participants moved slowly and had difficulty getting down to the floor, and up.

 Conclusion: Gentle Pilates group exercise, mat based program, appears to improve physical function well being, balance and also decrease pain. A small percentage of the participants reported they have reduced pain medications. The comradery of the group was important; and gave support to the group as a whole, which contributed to the high attendance, at each class. The program will now continue at a low fee for Fibromyalgia patients; and it is recommended to include home-based physical activity as an exercise intervention for individuals with fibromyalgia. It is also important to offer phone or in person contact so Fibromyalgia participants could receive feedback/support, on their home-based activities

Also, a randomized controlled trial is recommended to compare the use of Pilate equipment (reformer, Cadillac, chair & spine corrector) with a mat based (Gentle Pilates) program.

 

Fibromyalgia: Can we Prevent A Flare Up?

 

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If you’re living with fibromyalgia, simple steps you can do right now can help prevent a painful fibromyalgia flare.

For the 5 million Americans living with fibromyalgia, the discomfort that characterizes this condition never really goes away. But from time to time, sudden bouts of intense pain, fatigue, and other symptoms — known as fibromyalgia flares — will also occur. While there’s no definitive way to avoid occasional flares, you can be proactive and develop strategies to keep your symptoms in check, according to

  •  Journaling. Take 10 minutes every day to jot down things like what activities you did, what medication you started, how well you slept, or if you ate something new. Journaling is the key to discovering your flare triggers, so you can try to avoid them.  It can take up to 48 hours for an event to trigger a fibromyalgia flare-up, and if it’s not noted somewhere, you might not remember or recognize the correlation.
  • Delegating and saying no. Many people with fibromyalgia are perfectionists and like to do everything themselves, from all the cleaning to all the cooking. But you have to learn to let others do things for you because even mild overexertion can lead to a severe flare-up.
  • Stress management. Stress tightens you up, and when you have fibromyalgia, the muscles don’t let go. Find something that reduces stress for you before it gets to that painful point. I like listening to books on tape, for instance.”
  • Standing tall. Learning and maintaining proper posture is crucial to managing fibromyalgia, because posture errors that push the head too far forward or cause slouching can lead to muscle fatigue, followed by increased tension and pain.  Movement is vital and Pilates is one of the “best” forms of movement.  Pilates is movement that changes life.
  • Proper diet. Protein intake is vital to those with fibromyalgia because it’s the only macronutrient that builds and maintains muscle. A diet low in protein results in more nodules, more pain, and consequently more exhaustion.”

Do your own personal research for any new therapy you want to try, applying a simplified  scientific method. “Try tested therapies before untested ones, and make sure any treatment you try is safe.” Dr-1._Tamler_&_Sharon1

You can best assess whether a particular therapy is working by following these steps:

  • Start only one new treatment at a time.
  • See if you feel better when you use the treatment.
  • Stop the treatment, and see if you get worse.
  • Restart the treatment, and see if you improve again. If you do, you can be fairly confident that this treatment has a positive effect on you.

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Signature - Sharon Ostalecki

Finding my Way Through the Fog of Fibromyalgia

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Do you find it difficult to explain, “Fibro-Fog” to your friends or family. I would like to share my definition of fibro-fog. I hope it helps you to explain to your spouse, family or friends what it is like for many of us living with the challenges of fibromyalgia.  And for many cancer patients dealing with the same issues, after/during treatment.

Fibro Fog is like opening a file cabinet to locate information, only to find the folders not in any familiar order. You attempt to organize the folders alphabetically. After checking how you’ve done, you notice the folders are still in disarray. Repeatedly you try to reorganize until you’re tired of trying. If you’re disgusted with yourself you may stop and leave it for another day or try to continue. When opening the folders you find that many are missing the contents. The folders that have their contents seem to be in the wrong folder. Confused, you aimlessly search through folders and begin mixing their contents with other folders in an attempt to classify the contents in their proper folder. You do this over and over, back and forth to no avail. At some point you ask yourself, what was I looking for? No matter how hard you try, you just don’t remember.

When I’m in this Fog, it’s hard to communicate with others. Finding the proper words is difficult to say the least. And forming interesting conversation is practically unattainable. What I’ve learned is to set daily goals. Write them down starting with the easiest to the more challenging. The key is to keep your expectations pushing the edge just short of failure. Then as time goes on, I build on my successes. Eventually I find my way through the Fog.

How about you– Can you share ways you explain, “Fibro-Fog” to those in your life that just can’t seem to understand what it is like to live in the fog.

Signature - Sharon Ostalecki
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Are There Precipitating Factors or Events Leading to the Onset of Fibromyalgia?

Many Fibromyalgia physicians believe there are precipitating factors that lead to the onset of fibromyalgia.

Primary fibromyalgia occurs spontaneously in individuals not suffering from any related or triggering condition. There is no clear cause for “primary fibromyalgia,” but over time the severity of primary fibromyalgia is affected by factors such as sleep deprivation, muscle atrophy, emotional stress, coping style, the weather, and of course, the pain itself. The course tends to be chronic, with unpredictable periods of greater and lesser severity.

Secondary fibromyalgia occurs in patients whose pain was preceded or triggered by another illness, such as arthritis, bursitis, or lupus, or from abnormal structural conditions such as disc tears and herniations, and nerve entrapments. The course and appearance of secondary fibromyalgia is very similar to primary fibromyalgia. The picture is complicated because the patient’s other illness or illnesses continue to cause symptoms and require treatment. It is often a difficult medical challenge to know when a triggering factor, such as a disc herniation, should be addressed surgically or whether other pain control methods should be pursued. A great many patients with fibromyalgia respond poorly to surgery, so it has been suggested by some experts that, for fibromyalgia patients, nonsurgical options should be the first course of action when conditions permit.

Continue reading Are There Precipitating Factors or Events Leading to the Onset of Fibromyalgia?

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.

Continue reading Fibromyalgia Exercise Prescriptions–But What About the Side Effects?