Will strengthening exercises help back?

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LWGraboys

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Hi, Newbie here. But not new to FM - have had it about 30 years. Change of seasons, weather, having a cold - any change brings about a flare. Am now 76 and have been able to cope all these years using meditation, visualization, writing, pushing myself (when possible). However, this month my back is just one big cranky mess. Heat and massage help, briefly. But in the middle of the night, if I do manage to fall asleep, the pain wakes me.I also have had OA for even longer than the fibro, so my exercise has been limited to gentle yoga, stretching & walking on a treadmill. Has anyone found that strengthening exercises help? It seems whenever I try to do them I end up hurting more. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
 
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1sweed

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Hello, and welcome to the forum. I, like you have found trying to do strengthening exercises to be very painful and my muscles always felt weaker after the exercises then before. Some folks I know do upper body light exercises at their local gym. They lift weights and do the machines for upper body, but limit the weights on the machines to very few weights. Some report their arms having more strength, but others say it only helps their mental focus. Many of these people still don't believe in their diagnosis of fibro.

Other members here on site say that doing exercises in a swimming pool helps with pain. The water provides a way to exercise that supports and allows your body to relax in the water so that the exercising is simple and non-painful. Of course warm water is better than cold water. Some swim from one end of the pool to the other and say they feel mentally and physically refreshed.

Hope this helps in some small way. :)
 

LWGraboys

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Thanks so much for your reply. Wish I could swim, but I'm allergic to the chlorine. :-( I used to really love it. Even 2 lb weights seem to create a backlash, yet I'm sure strengthening is important. Is a back brace counterproductive?
 

IsisRose

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You may actually want to try gentle stretching of the back vs. strengthening exercise as that may cause more damage. Gently stretch your back by trying to slowly touch your toes while standing. Only go as far as you can as over time you will be able to stretch further. Hold the pose for about a minute while very relaxed. Repeat. This will help loosen any tightness and you may find a great deal of relief from it.
 

1sweed

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If you wear a back brace support and it makes you back hurt less, then I would continue using it for the added support. I agree to stick to lighter and easier exercises as fibro muscles don't seem to enjoy hard labor. My friends said they use the lightweight barbells and often one with help another in the lifting part.

I am hoping more members who have experience in this area will jump in and post about the methods they use for exercising their muscles. I know some use yoga. Keep reading back posts and I am sure you will find more references about safe exercising. :)
 
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