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Chronic Pain| Fibromyalgia| Physical Function

Posted Sep 18 2008 10:19am

An online survey to investigate predictors of high physical function in 2,580 people with fibromyalgia (FM) showed that   s ignificant explanatory variables of high physical function were: men, greater education, younger age, lower intensity fatigue, spasticity, and balance problems, not using prescription pain medications, using aerobic or strength training exercise, and not using relaxation methods. 

Conclusions were that people with FM suffer from multiple symptoms and use many modalities to control symptoms to remain functional. The authors had questions pertaining to developing strategies to promote better functioning, prospective trials to track the natural course of study variables, measuring their effect on function, and to test effects of interventions to maximize function. (Rutledge, Dana N.; Jones, Kim; Jones, C. Jessie Predicting High Physical Function in People With Fibromyalgia.Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 39(4):319-324, December 2007). 

Important to note is that the study variables can be seen in earlier and milder cases of fibromyalgia which relates to better function levels in these types of individuals.    

Self-care education is very important in patients with fibromyalgia to maintain physical function. Repetitive motion activities (even if aerobic) are to be avoided as much as possible with frequent rest periods if exposed to such tasks.  

Strength training activities are not encouraged. Weightlifting should be curtailed and anything lifted should be less than 2 pounds (maximum less than 5 pounds) at a time and lifting must be with using both arms.   There should be no reaching forward or lifting with arms outstretched or performing overhead activities.   Any lifting should be done with the elbow at the side of the body.   This pertains also to any activities that involve pushing or pulling.   Unsuspecting injuries occur with opening or closing heavy-duty doors and drawers. 

Any activities done should have equal duration of rest for the duration of activity performed.   There is tendency for patients to continue exercises either by number of repetitions or by a set time session for the exercise.   The best way is to titrate the activities by the level of feelings of discomfort, soreness, pain, achiness, tightness, stiffness, and fatigue.   The activities must be stopped immediately and the patient must rest as soon as the symptoms increase so that the pain symptoms do not escalate.    

Pain and discomfort symptoms in nerve related muscle pain is from ischemia and anoxia to nerve and muscle tissue when the muscles shorten and tighten.   Pushing through pain will just make to ischemia and anoxia worse leading to escalating pain through ireversible nerve damage. 

Chronic pain and fibromyalgia are lifelong diseases and patients must learn how to preserve their physical functions for as long as possible by knowing about self-care techniques. 

Treatments to decrease the level of pain is essential for maintaining or increasing function with improvement in quality of life.   eToims reverses the ischemia and anoxia that causes nerve damage allowing nerves and muscles to heal.   Please visit the main site of to learn about the role of eToims in relieving acute and chronic nerve related muscle pain such as that experienced by patients with fibromyalgia.

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