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Exercise with multiple pain issues

Oct 23, 2016 3:20 AM

Hi all. I'm recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and I keep getting told that I need to move, even though it hurts. My problem is, on top of Fibro, I have 9 bulging discs, two of which are herniated, and I have a right knee that's been replaced, but it actually hurts MORE than before I decided to replace it - even after2 years.

Any ideas on how I can get exercise when I'm in this shape, and I can't afford to buy a gym membership to use the pool?

Oct 23, 2016 3:47 AM

It's difficult perhaps going to pool every second week?

Oct 23, 2016 3:48 AM

Do you have a hydrotherapy pool nearby?

Oct 23, 2016 9:42 AM

I really do suggest the pool. If there is any way possible to get in the water it can really help. Where I live, many of the pools have drop in aqua aerobics etc. for discounted rates. Especially exercise in deep water and the buoyancy belts can help. You may be able to get a discoumted rate somehow through your doctor or through a pt at some facilities.

Oct 23, 2016 11:58 AM

I hope so, Asia. I'm on such a tight budget after having to step down from my career as a nurse, I just cannot afford the gym.

Oct 23, 2016 1:40 PM

Hey PapaBear, I'm in a similar situation as you. Before my health became more severe, I use to really enjoy cycling. I also have knee issues (subluxation and such). I found riding my bike to be really helpful in strengthening the muscles around the knee, keeping them stable and reducing pain. If you don't own a bicycle, I would recommend looking into isometric exercises and or yoga. Has your doctor recommended physical therapy? If not, it might be a viable option (depending on your insurance coverage). A physical therapist could help to improve flexibility, strength, and lessen pain (which might help with tolerance for other types of exercise). Aquatic physical therapy would probably the easiest on you. I, admittedly, have felt too self-conscious to venture into it, so I usually go to a regular physical therapist. I have found it to be beneficial, despite how challenging and painful it can be. With this being said, physical therapy isn't a miracle cure (generally speaking for fibro and other types of chronic pain conditions). It won't entirely remove the pain experienced, but it does reduce the level experienced.

Oct 23, 2016 6:43 PM


Oct 23, 2016 9:32 PM

Papabear - if you have a gym that has water aroebics that's a good way to exercise without putting any pressure on those areas. I used to do this and while there were a lot of women in the class there usually were a few men.
Another one many gyms have is silver sneakers. It's a class for those over 55 but they let me join them when I was younger. It's a low impact workout and might be something you want to look into.
Physical Therapy is good as well. They can get you on a low impact exercise to help build up your strength - especially if you are thinking surgery in the future.

Am so sorry you are dealing with so much pain wise.

Oct 23, 2016 9:34 PM

Papabear - you might check with your insurance. Mine covered the water arsenic classes and the silver sneakers class.

Oct 24, 2016 6:11 AM

Are you involved in physical therapy? There are multiple options for therapy including hydrotherapy. Most insurance pays for twice wkly.

Oct 24, 2016 7:38 AM

If you have a YMCA you can get a discount based on income. I can't afford a gym membership with a pool either. I walk. I'm slowly increasing the distance. Sorry for your pain.

Oct 24, 2016 10:13 AM

I have fibromyalgia also and am newly diagnosed a few weeks ago and the idea 💡 of exercising seemed like a impossiblity to me. I have been sedentary for over 10 years. I started going to a physical therapist for three months. He showed me how to stretch the right way and trained me how to regain my posture. I can honestly say that it's saved my life. I was very skeptical at first because I had tried physical therapy in the last two years and it did no good. But this time he allowed me to go very slowly and taught me how to pace myself. I would take my pain meds a hour before my therapy and again 4 hours later. We focused on just my neck, shoulders, and upper back because that was where I hurt 😭 the most so I used a heating pad as soon as I was done and ice the next day. I also used a tens unit, hot 🛀 baths, meditation, throwing tantrums (sometimes bitching about the pain helps), distraction and never giving up. I hurt a lot at first but got better over time.
What I'm trying to say is slow gentle stretching everyday and pacing yourself can help get you started. Honestly I'm still only able to do my stretches everyday, I'm not able to exercise yet but I'm hoping to work up to that. I do the same stretches in the morning adding new ones every few weeks.

It can be done with patience and perseverance. It can help you feel so much better. I know it's hard to know where to start so I suggest you try talking to your doctor about it. ((Many blessings))

Oct 24, 2016 10:35 AM

Hello & welcome PapaBear! I have spinal issues all the way down; had 3rd surgery on neck in August. I also have multiple other chronic pain issues from OA,; swelling, tingling & pain in legs with standing and walking; joint pain with both hips and knees due to chondromalacia & sjogrens & OA. Currently I'm walking slowly on a treadmill because it was free and I can't afford a recumbent bike (seat is like a chair and you pedal out front instead of below). PT told me the bike would be best and I use to have one but it worse out. Exercise is hard at first so start slow and steady, then build up in low increments. 5 minutes a day is better than nothing at all. Also try slow easy stretches to stay limber. I wear compression stockings on my legs due to fluid swelling. I started walking 5 min a day a year ago, and now I'm trying to do 1-20 min at least 3-4 days a week. When I was doing nothing I felt weak, aches, and just plain lousy. Now with a little exercise I can at least tell I'm not as weak and don't ache as bad after doing anything. It also brightens my mood when I can walk. Good luck! Hugs love & prayers for a slow and steady 🐢 improvement for you! 🙂💕🙏🌸.

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