Many people with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions fear that activity will make their pain worse. But new research suggests they may be able to be more active than they think – without suffering from increased pain.
The study by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., found that fibromyalgia patients have similar average activity levels as people without those conditions. But it also found that their levels of high-intensity "peak" activities – such as bolting up the staircase, walking for several miles or taking an aerobics class – are much lower than among people without the condition.
The first-of-its-kind research – which involved round-the-clock activity monitoring and analysis rather than relying on patients self-reporting their activity levels – is helping researchers unlock some of the mysteries of fibromyalgia. The findings could lead to changes in the treatment of patients with the chronic condition of pain in the muscles and soft tissue, says Dan Clauw, M.D., director of the U-M Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center and professor of rheumatology at the U-M Medical School.
Katie Gazella | EurekAlert!
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