15 December 2012

Me? Exercise?

When I saw the pain specialist, Dr Purple Hair, last month, she diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. She also said that one of the best therapies for fibro pain is exercise. Happily, she is aware that this is difficult. "When I tell patients that exercise will help, their reaction is 'Are you fucking kidding me?'" Reason number one that I like Dr Purple Hair: Appropriate use of expletives.

Since we're doing medication changes as well, I said I wanted to wait until the meds were settled before starting any sort of physical therapy. I also have some concerns about my heart, due to my high resting heart rate, and I want to make sure anything I do physically is safe for me.

However, I did think of something that I could do in the meantime - or rather, that could be done to me. My husband often offers me massages to help with the pain, but it occurred to me that a different sort of bodywork might help with the pain as well as help condition the muscles. So about a week or two ago, he started moving my legs for me. Rotate the ankle around, raise the leg, bend the knee, and so on. Basically the same sort of movements I'd do myself as part of a warmup for a traditional exercise routine, but in this case, he's supplying most of the energy to do the work.

I think it's been good for me, and at least doesn't seem to increase my fatigue any. He's done just a bit with my shoulders and arms, but since my shoulders remain my weakest joint, he doesn't do them every day.

I think the name for this is "facilitated stretching". I'll be telling Dr Purple Hair about it at my next appointment (likely in January) and we'll see if it can be incorporated into the exercise plans that she'll be recommending.

1 comment:

  1. That is wonderful and just what I had thought my main rehab would be like this summer. Instead, since "I didn't look anything like what they were told to expect from me" they had me doing most all of it myself. I did walking and some floor exercises and I did get alot of ahoulder work done but all this in such a way that little by little each week I was thrown more and more into a flare that in the end became massive. Granted, after the flare receded I did have vast improvement but not at all sure it was necessary to put me so far down to raise me up in the end. I think your more gentle way would have been so much more effective in the end and with way less pain and suffering. I SO should have greeted them at the door with dirty hair and ragged pj's and quiet to the point of withdrawn, like I had been all spring and summer long, instead of being clean, dressed, polite and friendly. **pfffttt*

    But yay, DSon-in-law for stepping in with this wonderful idea for you. It really will pay off in the long run for you. Maybe someday you will be able to do more but even if not, this will be a great treatment for you today. :)