Exercise Reduces Pain in FM (or does it?)


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Lots of studies do indicate that mild exercise can help in FM but this study measured symptoms and brain function directly after exercise - too soon to for post-exertional malaise to kick in I would think. 25 minutes on a bike is quite a bit of exercise thoug

Exercise Stimulates Pain Modulation in Fibromyalgia

PALM SPRINGS, California — Exercise activates brain centers associated with pain modulation in patients with fibromyalgia and may prove an effective treatment, researchers say.

"Acute exercise did result in a somewhat temporary improvement in centrally mediated pain modulation, and importantly this was without exacerbating pain symptoms," said Laura Ellingson, PhD, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, Ames.

Dr Ellingson presented the finding here at the American Pain Society (APS) 34th Annual Scientific Meeting.

Fibromyalgia is complex and largely unexplained, but abnormality in pain modulation is one of its hallmarks, Dr Ellingson said.
Understanding how this modulation plays out in the central nervous system could give some insights into the cause of the condition, she said.
Some previous studies have shown a decreased sensitivity to pain after exercise, while others have shown no effect or even an increase.
To examine this phenomenon, the researchers scanned the brains of 12 women with fibromyalgia by using functional MRI. The women's mean age was 39.5 years, and their mean Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score was 52.9. The scale runs from 0 to 100 in order of increasing severity.

The researchers imaged the patients once immediately after they finished 25 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling on a stationary bicycle and once again a week later after quiet rest.

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