Talking to patients with fibromyalgia about physical activity and exercise

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The purpose of this article is to describe the application of basic exercise principles to individuals with fibromyalgia to encourage clinicians to discuss with their patients ways of becoming more physically active.

Recent findings

The goals of increased physical activity and exercise for individuals with fibromyalgia are to improve or maintain general fitness, physical function, emotional well being, symptoms and overall health, and provide them with a feeling of control over their well being. Describing ways of increasing activity through home, work and leisure-related tasks or exercise provides a universal approach to increasing physical activity that applies to individuals with fibromyalgia and fits a counseling model of health behavior familiar to clinicians. The patient–clinician relationship provides a unique opportunity for health professionals to counsel individuals with fibromyalgia to become and remain more physically active.

Summary

Regular physical activity and exercise has numerous physical, psychological, and functional benefits for individuals with fibromyalgia and should be included in treatment plans. Clinicians can help patients adopt a more physically active lifestyle through targeted discussions, support and consistent follow up.

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