Mind-Body Exercise Can Help Reduce Pain and Stress

Exercise: A Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Dr. Jolene BrightenPublished: Last Reviewed: Wellbeing Leave a Comment

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that effects multiple systems in the body with symptoms including chronic deep muscle pain, depression, memory disruption and sleep disturbances. Chronic psychological stress coupled with an inappropriate stress response is noted to be the primary cause of fibromyalgia in a recent review by Charles Vierck, published in the journal of Pain Research and Treatment.

Chronic Stress May Lead to Chronic Pain

Chronic Stress May Lead to Chronic Pain

The imbalance in the nervous system causes an individual to spend a prolonged time in what is often referred to as “fight or flight” state.  Being in this state can amplify all symptoms and over time lead to a reduction in blood flow to muscles, causing a deep pain.

Exercise, as described in the article, can help individuals decrease their stress while also conditioning muscles and increasing blood flow throughout the body. There is evidence that supports exercise in the treatment of fibromyalgia especially in regards to pain management.

While most people with fibromyalgia shy away from exercise because of the initial pain and discomfort associated with it, those who are able to maintain a steady workout routine are able to reap the long term benefits of exercise- decreased pain and stress along with better sleep.

Vierck notes that it is “not feasible to treat each of these disorders [pain, insomnia, depression] separately (e.g., with pharmacological agents directed specifically to treat each disorder).” However, exercise shows promise in being able to address multiple symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Just like any other aspect of health, exercise too should be individualized. Starting slow and working with a professional can ensure you have a routine best suited to your needs. Vierck recommends implementing therapies used to address the psychological stress along with exercise as a more complete means of treatment. Mind-Body exercises like Yoga and Pilates can aid in addressing both mental and physical stress.

Mind-Body Exercise Can Help Reduce Pain and Stress

Mind-Body Exercise Can Help Reduce Pain and Stress

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Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten, NMD, is a women’s hormone expert and prominent leader in women’s medicine. As a licensed naturopathic physician who is board certified in naturopathic endocrinology, she takes an integrative approach in her clinical practice. A fierce patient advocate and completely dedicated to uncovering the root cause of hormonal imbalances, Dr. Brighten empowers women worldwide to take control of their health and their hormones. She is the best selling author of Beyond the Pill and Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth. Dr. Brighten is an international speaker, clinical educator, medical advisor within the tech community, and considered a leading authority on women’s health. She is a member of the MindBodyGreen Collective and a faculty member for the American Academy of Anti Aging Medicine. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Bustle, The Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Elle, and ABC News. Read more about me here.