Moderate strength training on training equipment
Although this form of physical exercise requires special caution, it is the most effective method of improving the physical performance of the fibromyalgia patient and should be performed 2-3 times/week depending on the response to the training. Therefore, especially at the beginning of strength and endurance training, it is recommended not to boldly go to the next fitness studio, but to do moderate training accompanied by a physiotherapist (first individual and then group training) on medical training equipment. In cooperation with the physiotherapist, a training programme tailored to the individual patient’s performance is determined and increased over time.
With this type of exercise, the daily condition of the person concerned plays a special role and should definitely be taken into account in order to avoid setbacks and possibly increased pain. If this happens despite all caution, the increased pain only lasts for a maximum of 1-2 days after exertion and then disappears on its own. It may also be possible to react by temporarily increasing the pain medication.
After the appropriate recovery, however, training should then be resumed (possibly reduced load). In a 12-week comparative study on the effectiveness of exercise with 14 patients between conventional gymnastics and strength training on machines, the results were clearly in favour of strength training. After measuring the strength-related performance, the weights were increased up to 50-70% of the performance achieved in the test.
A decrease in depression and anxiety, stiffness and painfulness was achieved, general well-being and work ability improved significantly. An attempt at strength training on medical training equipment should definitely be made. Furthermore, this study result confirms the research into the causes of fibromyalgia with regard to the fact that the problems of fibromyalgia patients are not to be found directly in the skeletal muscles, but in the area of sensitive pain perception and pain control. Basically the following applies: small weights, large number of repetitions, slow increase (if possible) Training on standardised training equipment has the additional advantage that the success of the increase in load is really measurable and therefore encourages the patient to continue his activities. Dosage: For those patients who feel positive effects from strength training, the recommendation is: 2-3/week up to 60 minutes
Moderate endurance training on ergometer machines
In order to increase physical fitness and to reduce fatigue and exhaustion, training on the ergometer machines can be very useful. The bicycle ergometer and the Cross Walker are particularly recommended, whereby the Cross Walker offers even more intensive whole-body activation. An increase in load can also be precisely measured on the ergometer machines.
To support their own activities, fibromyalgia sufferers are recommended to participate in appropriate group activities. The exchange of experience with others in self-help groups and the joint exercise in fibromyalgia gymnastics and sports groups increases the knowledge of the background and current therapy options of the disease and helps to overcome the understandable reluctance with regard to physical strain.