If you have achy joints and muscle stiffness, you may want to try Stretching to Relieve your Fibromyalgia Symptoms. Muscle stiffness is a common symptom of fibromyalgia, by stretching you can decrease your stiffness. This stiffness can become a recurrent, permanent symptom, so learn more about stiffness and what you can do relieve your fibromyalgia symptoms. You may also want to consult a heath care professional.
Stretching muscles in a controlled, systematic manner to RELIEVE FIBROMYALGIA SYMPTOMS is an integral part of the recovery from stiffness. The primary function of muscles is to move the joints and to stabilize the body posture, reducing pain.
IMPROVED JOINT MOTION: The greatest benefit of stretching is the enhanced ability of the body to perform physical activity with less stress and fatigue. The more flexible a joint is within its “normal” range, the greater its ability to move through a wider range of motion, and the more efficient the joint function. Stretching muscle groups 20 minutes, 3 times a week, can relieve fibromyalgia symptoms, and increase the joint range of motion by 30 percent.
PROMOTION OF JOINT ELASTICITY: Stretching increases the temperature of the muscle tissue being stretched, in turn increasing the blood nutrients supplied to the joint structure. This process promotes greater elasticity in the surrounding tissue which relieves the fibromyalgia symptoms of stiffness and pain.
IMPROVED COORDINATION: Optimum flexibility and range of motion increases neuromuscular coordination. The speed of nerve impulses is enhanced by stretching the muscles around the joints. When coordination is improved the central nervous system becomes more sensitive to the physical demands placed on it, opposing muscle groups function more efficiently, faster, and in a coordinated manner. The body develops more strength and stamina, often lacking in fibromyalgia patients.
PREVENTION FROM INJURY: Normal flexibility within the joint range of motion prevents joint injury. The majority of traumatic muscular or ligamentous injuries occur when a joint is pushed beyond its normal range of motion. This often occurs when patients take the approach of resting instead of movement and stretching to overcome fibromyalgia stiffness. If they make a sudden unexpected movement, they frequently injure the joints. The nerves that control muscle function and give muscles their memory are surrounded by a sheath of muscle. If the sheath surrounding the nerve is elongated through controlled stretches, the memory of the muscle adapts to this greater range of motion. When an individual, or Fibromyalgia patient, is stretching, the joint is pushed beyond its ‘normal’ range, the muscles are able to react effectively, reducing the likelihood of injury and further pain.
ENHANCED POSTURE AND MOVEMENT: Stretching helps to realign and regenerate soft tissue structures that have less than optimum development due to normal biomechanical wear and tear, and poor posture. The realigning of tissue structure improves muscular balance and kinesthetic awareness. This realignment of tissue structure also promotes and maintains optimum posture, healthy movement in daily activities, the healthy movement and stretching fibromyalgia sufferers so desperately need.
NO BOUNCING: Hold a static stretch to build up soft tissue tension so change occurs in tissue length. Bouncing can tear tissue or cause injuries in other affected areas.
NO PAIN: Stretching should not cause a sensation of discomfort; sharp pain, particularly, indicates that the muscle is being stretched too far.
DO NOT HOLD THE BREATH: Relax, breathe slowly and rhythmically, and focus on the muscles when stretching. Lengthen and stretch the muscle tissue upon exhalation to relieve fibromyalgia symptoms.
KNOW WHAT AREA NEEDS TO BE STRETCHED AND WHY: Each individual requires different areas of flexibility. Assessments are helpful to recognize the tight, unstable areas, and appropriate stretches need to be prescribed. Maintain a balance between stretching and strengthening exercises to insure joint stability, minimizing the chance of joint injury.
WATCH FOR MUSCLE SUBSTITUTION: Be specific on the muscle group being stretched. Make sure that compensatory muscle groups are not overpowering.
GENERAL STRETCHING TIPS: For those suffering with Fibromyalgia, stretching the muscle groups is only beneficial when done correctly. Just as there is more than one way to achieve a set goal, there is more than one stretch to enhance flexibility. Based upon our experience with stretching and fibromyalgia symptoms, gradual, slow, sustained stretches, reaching away, using correct technique prevents injuries and pain from occurring. Stretch to the point of moderate tension and maintain the stretch for a minimum of 30 – 45 seconds, preferably 45 seconds – 1 ½ minutes. Relax for 5 – 10 seconds between stretches and repeat on the other side. Spend additional time stretching muscles that are chronically tight. Perform 2 – 3 sets per stretch, time permitting, repeating the stretch on the same muscle group. Once the body is warmed up, stretches may be held for longer periods of time.