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The Never-Ending Ache

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 9:24 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Tender PointsThere are days when you push your body to extremes, working it in ways that it is unaccustomed to. You strain your muscles, overburden your legs and tax parts of you that had been, until then, dormant. The next morning you wake up, stumble out of bed and groan. You ache from head to toe. Every movement elicits a silent scream, and if you bend the wrong way, the continual throb turns into a sharp, stabbing pain. Eventually, the discomfort eases. You nurse your body, aware that it is only a matter of time before the tolls of the previous day’s activities fade. But for some, those pains never disappear. They are cursed with lifelong tenderness. They have fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia affects approximately three to six percent of the population. The sufferers are subjected to a chronic pain that varies regularly in severity, an overwhelming fatigue, sleep disturbances and a range of other symptoms.  They are drained of all desire to move but can barely lie still as the aches and insomnia keep them alert. With each restless night the disease intensifies, lessening occasionally but never for long or, at least, never forever. By the time a doctor appropriately diagnoses them, most have been plagued for more than five years, and the naming of the disease brings little comfort.

There is no cure for fibromyalgia, only a managing of symptoms. The pain, sleep and inevitable mental consequences are dealt with, with different therapies. Effectiveness, as the symptoms do, varies with time and from patient to patient. But one thing seems to be clear – activity, not inactivity, helps.  When 135 women were asked to participate in four types of exercise, those who incorporated strength, aerobic and flexibility training reported the most improvement. However, any form and amount aided. It was those who did not exercise that found limited relief. The prescription, then, is for exercise but not vigorous activity. It should involve moderate movements that don’t induce sweat. With each workout, the muscles will strengthen along with confidence. Patients will realize that they are not debilitated by their condition. The constant ache will not be a constant disability.

One Response to “The Never-Ending Ache”

  1. Mike Harmon says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Mike Harmon

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