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TOPIC: Bad back & Fibromyalgia - How do you exercise??

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June 23, 2011 6:21 AM
Ok so here's my story. I am 39 and 5'3". I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back. The last two disks are rubbing each other and nature is making them fuse together. It is a lot of pain. Recently I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I have learned very quickly that many things affect this. Fibromyalgia is basically and all over ache, kind of like you have the flu. Sometimes I feel SO tense, but I can't get my body to relax. I have also found if I do to much exercise, then I really pay for it. But if I do too little I also pay for it.

Is there anyone else out in MFP land that has Fibromyalgia? And if so, what have you done that seems to work for you? I can eat healthy all I want, but when I can't seem to find a good exercise that works for me, I am not losing weight! HELP>>>>>>>>>>>>
June 23, 2011 6:25 AM
Have you tried water exercises so that the body is supported?
June 23, 2011 6:27 AM

Have you tried water exercises so that the body is supported?

Yes, I agree. Water aerobics are probably going to be your best bet!
June 23, 2011 6:29 AM
Gentle (advancing to moderate) Yoga and Pilates would be best and healing for you......My neighbor lost 35 pounds doing just that with cutting calories in her diet. She looks amazing. smile
June 23, 2011 6:29 AM
I have done water, but I don't have access to a pool year round. Also when I get out of the pool the gravity affect almost takes me to my knees!
June 23, 2011 6:29 AM
I agree, either water aerobics, swimming or walking. Just keep moving.
June 23, 2011 6:30 AM
Walk. Walking is one of the best exercises out there. My mother has the same issues where her discs are fusing together, and that's about the only exercise she can really get in. I will say, that the best way to strengthen your back is to work on your abs.

Fibromyalgia - I've heard that your B vitamins may help (I notice a difference when I'm eating my dark leafy greens), but I also find that when I hurt the most, it's best when I *do* exercise.
June 23, 2011 6:30 AM
i agree with miguel3074, water aerobics is low impact but good cardio. also, try getting a heart rate monitor that is water proof, that way u can tell how many cals u have burned. i recommend the Polar FT4. that is what i have and i love it. it keeps track of everything.
June 23, 2011 6:39 AM
I have fibromyalgia and a disc problem but i try to exercise everyday, Somedays are worse than others. I hurt everyday but if i exercise it does help me a little.
June 23, 2011 6:44 AM
Yoga. There are several DVDs out there ( that are specific to back problems, arthritis, etc. I've had Rheumatoid Arthritis for almost 10 years so I understand the fatigue and the pain issues. I've also been in two major car accidents that have left me with neck and shoulder pain so I get it. I swim with the kick board and have experienced amazing results through Yoga. I'm currently in a Yoga Teacher Training so if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I can explain the various kinds of yoga and what might be most beneficial for your particular situation. The best thing you could do is find a local Yoga studio and get involved. Yoga meets you where you are and helps you grow. Plus the breathing and meditation could help manage the pain. Good luck!
June 23, 2011 6:51 AM
I have fibro, but not the bad back problems. When I first started exercising, I had to take it very slow and very low impact. LIke others said, water activities would probably be your best bet, but if you could start doing any core exercises would help strengthen your back. Even just a simple contraction of ab muscles might help. I know any stretching can help, too. Maybe as you get stronger, add in more walking, if you can handle an upright exercise bike, or yoga/Pilates. The best thing that has help for my fibro pain is cutting out most carbs like wheat, sugar, and rice. I was told that they cause inflammation, and when I tried cutting it all out, my fibro pain decreased significantly.
June 23, 2011 6:59 AM
Ah, didn't know about the carbs? As I recall it, if I eat something like pasta I do tend to have a bad night and next day. Thanks for the input. I think I will start tracking what I eat in relation to pain and see what I come up with.
June 23, 2011 4:15 PM
Definitely! Fibro is certainly different for everybody. I was diagnosed three years over 3 years ago, and I am finally figuring out what works for me. Just do a lot experimenting and keep a pain journal to go along with your food journal. Good luck!
July 16, 2011 8:17 AM
July 16, 2011 8:32 AM
I have fibro also and have found that going gluten free has taken 95% of that achy flu feeling away. Sometimes I forget I have fibro and eat something with gluten and right away I feel awful.I have also cut out all red meat, which seemed to help also. Has anyone else found that going free has taken away there fibro symptoms? I don't know why the doctors don't suggest this....I found out about it by searching and searching for relief on line.
Edited by HulasMom On July 16, 2011 8:43 AM
July 22, 2011 10:07 PM
Lyrica! Best thing I ever found. I also have DDD as well as Fibromyalgia. Good luck. I know the pain you are in, but weight loss, mild exercise and a positive attitude all help alot!smile
July 22, 2011 10:15 PM
I have DDD and had my lower three discs removed and fused with bone spacers 4 yrs ago. OH MY!!! WISH I'D DONE IT YEARS BEFORE!! I fought getting it fixed due to hearing nightmare of other back surgeries.

I don't smoke (huge deal in recovering from surgery)
I did all therapy before to build muscle, no matter how much it hurt (this didn't lower weight, just increased core strength)
I chose to do ALF anterior lumbar fusion(my cut is from belly button to pubic bone.)
my recovery in hospital was longer (6 days) but in the long run, full fusion of the discs with proper spacing for nerves and no more sciatica and no scar tissue in connective tissue on my back..

I am great after the surgery. Yes there is a scar, I can't bend at waist for long periods of time, but

I don't necessarily endorse surgery, but I know how hard I fought it past when I should have just done it. My two lower discs were collapsed and steroid shots didn't help, couldn't walk for weeks at a time and dependent on pain meds. I am a whole new person after relieveing that pain. Back pain makes all of you hurt!!!
July 23, 2011 1:28 AM

I have Fibromyalgia and unless you have been there it is so hard to describe the pain some days - it's like even my hair hurts sometimes and I don't mean my arms brushing my hair but even my scalp which is just crazy....

I have noticed that when I have foods high in Gluten or Lactose it is much worse it is also worse just before my TOM.

In terms of exercise swimming is great the other thing I have noticed is that I don't ache during exercise so I tend to do 2 sessions a week mainly focusing on weights and resistance work to build muscle while I loose weight, and just know that I will pay for it the next day but the bennifits outweigh the pain as as I get fitter the symptoms of my Fibromyalgia have silghtly improved

As for the back problem I can't comment but loosing weight and strengthing your core muscles can only help with this...

Good Luck
July 23, 2011 8:55 AM
I also have fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism and just started this site about 2 weeks ago....I'm learning through trying different things...I walk a mile everyday on the treadmill so that I have something to hold onto for my balance and have been eating 1200 to 1400 calories a day....haven't lost any weight yet but am losing inches and hope if I continue the weight loss will come. I've learned that if I exercise within the first hour I'm up it helps to relieve my lower back and fibro pain and makes for an easier day all around. I'm glad I found this site there is so much positive energy that it helps keep me motivated.
July 23, 2011 9:08 AM
I understand your pain, I plan on doing water aerobics then move on to pilates for core strengthening. I wish you luck.

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