Minimize Pain, Maximize Results, and Take Back Your Life
Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition, yet medical opinions are divided as to its cause and how it should be treated. Is it a neurological or a physical ailment? Should you treat the muscles or the mind? The correct answer is to treat both. Improving overall fitness while reducing anxiety and stress is the key to ...
Minimize Pain, Maximize Results, and Take Back Your Life
Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition, yet medical opinions are divided as to its cause and how it should be treated. Is it a neurological or a physical ailment? Should you treat the muscles or the mind? The correct answer is to treat both. Improving overall fitness while reducing anxiety and stress is the key to reducing your fibromyalgia symptoms and improving your daily functioning.
Exercises for Fibromyalgia is tailored to improve your fitness and energy levels without strain or stiffness. With a focus on exercises designed to relieve pain and improve sleep for fibromyalgia sufferers, you will find yourself feeling better each day, as your strength increases and your soreness decreases.
Combined with effective techniques proven to relieve stress and improve your sleep habits, Exercises for Fibromyalgia makes sure your mind and body both benefit from a healthy lifestyle.
Exercises for Fibromyalgia also includes:
- An overview of living with fibromyalgia and the benefits of exercise
- Clear, informative pictures of safe, effective exercises
- Detailed instructions on how to perform each exercise
- A complete exercise approach to reduce stress and improve fitness
- A training log to track progress
Having fibromyalgia doesn’t mean having to give up doing the things you love, or having to live with aches and pains for the rest of your life.
William Smith, MS, NSCA, CSCS, MEPD, completed his B.S. in exercise science at Western Michigan University followed by a master’s degree in education and a post-graduate program at Rutgers University. In 1993, Will began coaching triathletes and working with athletes and post-rehab clientele. He was a Division I Collegiate Strength Coach and has been competing in triathlons and marathons since 1998, recently finishing the Steelhead Half Ironman in Michigan in 5 hours and 22 minutes. Will founded Will Power and Fitness Associates and currently consults for fitness, healthcare, and wellness centers in New York and New Jersey. The Director of the Professional Development Institute, Will has also co-authored a book on triathalon training (Tri-Power, 2007).
Zinovy Meyler, DO, is the Co-Director of the Interventional Spine Program and an attending physician at Princeton Spine and Joint Center in Princeton, NJ. Dr. Meyler is a board certified, fellowship-trained physician specializing in the non-operative treatment of spine, joint, and muscle pain with emphasis on image-guided interventional spine and joint procedures.
It hasn’t been that long since the diagnosis of fibromyalgia was similar to saying to a patient, “I don’t know what is wrong with you, but you’re in pain.” Fibromyalgia has been studied for a long time and descriptions of the syndrome appear in medical literature as early as the 1800s. Throughout history, there are accounts of people with symptoms that are strikingly similar to what we diagnose today as fibromyalgia. Some historians believe that early accounts of symptoms of widespread pain and sleep disturbances can be found in the Old Testament. For several centuries, widespread pain was called rheumatism, then muscular rheumatism. In the early 1900s, the term fibrositis replaced previous names and only in 1976 did we start using the term fibromyalgia to denote the many facets of this syndrome. It was not until the 1980s that we began to find evidence that there is a connection between fibromyalgia and other similar conditions.
In 2007, the first FDA-approved medication for the treatment of fibromyalgia became available. Since then, the research has been ongoing and shows significant promise for practitioners (like myself) and, more importantly, for patients whose lives have been altered by the syndrome. As our understanding grows, there is also some growth of controversy regarding the methods of treatment as well as those applied to the research itself. However, one approach has been able to stand the test of time and science, and that approach is exercise. Of course, people with fibromyalgia face unique challenges when it comes to exercise. Whereas some people can “grin and bear it” and “exercise through the pain,” people with fibromyalgia know all too well that you can’t simply work through it, or you will often pay the price with a fl are of pain later.
Studies consistently show that exercise helps restore the body’s neurochemical balance, boost energy, restore sleep, and overall improve the emotional state. As medical practitioners, we see both great results with exercise and, at times, aversion to it due to a negative prior experience and exacerbation of symptoms. It is this double-edged sword that patients and we as physicians face in using therapeutic exercise in the treatment of fibromyalgia. On the one hand, exercise is another form of exertion for someone who already has decreased endurance, fatigue, and disturbed sleep. For someone with fibromyalgia, to take on an exercise routine means overcoming the above barriers, only to face the next question: How do I exercise so that I get the benefits without getting the unwanted increase in fatigue and pain? What are the appropriate exercises and where do I start?
In Exercise for Fibromyalgia, prominent trainer, author, and rehabilitative specialist William Smith has put forth a book that details the theory of exercise in the context of the treatment of fibromyalgia. Medicine as a whole is beginning to combine clinical experience with empirical evidence, showing the science behind the wonder of appropriate therapeutic exercise. Will’s efforts in combining clinical experience and scientific knowledge provide a practical application of exercise in treatment of this syndrome. It is a much-needed roadmap in the maze that can be fibromyalgia.
The book you are holding in your hands will prove an invaluable resource for the community that encompasses people diagnosed with fibromyalgia and for medical practitioners undertaking the treatment of people suffering from its multitude of symptoms. We are seeing more and more that this multifaceted syndrome requires an approach that is most in line with the physiology and biochemistry of our bodies. Appropriate exercise is the most efficient way to address this. This book will help you develop the exercise routine right for you and get you on your way to less pain and more gain!
—Zinovy Meyler, D.O
Co-Director, Interventional Spine Program
Princeton Spine and Joint Center
Introduction Chapter 1: What is Fibromyalgia? Chapter 2: What the New Studies Say Chapter 3: The Key to Long-Term Health Chapter 4: Path to Better Health: The Benefits of Exercise Chapter 5: Rules of the Road: Exercise Precautions Chapter 6: The Exercises Chapter 7: Exercise Programs and Progressions
About the Authors