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Marsh column: Exercising and fibromyalgia

Lets first look at what Fibromyalgia is:
Fibromyalgia: Fybro means fibrous tissue, myo refers to muscle and algos means pain.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disorder classified by the presence of chronic widespread pain and a heightened and painful response to gentle touch. Other core features of the disorder include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance and joint stiffness.
Not all affected people experience all the symptoms by having FM. There is no generally accepted cure for FM however there are treatments that can effectively reduce symptoms which include medication, patient education, light exercise and behavioral interventions. Other treatment can be physical therapy, myofascial release therapy, water therapy, reflexology, acupuncture, application of heat and cold and massage therapy. We have a great massage therapist at the JF Hurley YMCA his name is Travis Alligood. He is trained and certified in Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, Tai yoga massage and movement therapy.
Also yoga, relaxing exercises and acupressure can relieve FM symptoms. Diagnosing FM often takes time and lots of tests. There is no single test that can confirm you have FM. Your doctor will often run tests and procedures to rule out FM which can be very frustrating and costly. Before the diagnosis of Fybromyalgia many sufferers were treated for mental “issues.” Fortunately, more and more sufferers are getting relief with current treatments. The results of your tests will guide your course of treatment.
People who suffer from FM that I have dealt with gain wonderful results with low impact cardio, light strength training, water exercise, massage therapy and reflexology. I do recommend that you and your doctor come up with a good treatment plan.
For info on our classes and times call 704-636-0111 or go to our website
Ester Marsh, ACSM Cpt
Health and Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA

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