Fibromyalgia is the term used to describe a condition involving idiopathic (unknown causation) diffuse muscle and joint pain and chronic fatigue. It is often the diagnosis given to a patient experiencing these symptoms when diagnostic tests like x-rays and blood tests are inconclusive. It is sometimes classified as a metabolic disorder and may be tied to rheumatism/ rheumatic disease. People who have a history of acute trauma can develop chronic pain, which may lead to fibromyalgia.
Treatment at our clinic for fibromyalgia may include therapeutic massage, chiropractic manipulation, manual therapies, exercises, and anti-oxidant nutritional supplements.
Getting Stronger. What are the benefits of strength training?
As we discuss in the section on building better bone structure, your skeleton is the body’s framework.
The muscular system is the part that holds it all together and does the work. Increased strength provides increased endurance, better cardiovascular performance, and lowers your percentage of body fat. Use of free weights, weight machines, and resistance bands all contribute to building better muscular tissue which assists in increasing flexibility and lessening the probability of injury.
Where to start? It’s recommended that you consult with your doctor before you begin a strength training program. You should have a thorough check-up to make sure there are no medical issues that would be affected by beginning such a program. Your doctor or a certified strength training professional can help you in designing a program that will meet your goals. Depending on the type of result you are looking for, your program should be performed two to three times a week with a day off between workouts. You may increase your strength by increasing the number of times a week you work out but rest days in between are very important.
Lack of time to recover and repair can be harmful.
What’s in a workout? Workouts consist of sets and repetitions. A set is an exercise done a number of times without resting. Repetitions (reps) are the number of times you do an exercise in a set. An example of a workout would be two to three sets of eight to ten reps starting with the larger muscle groups. Proper execution of each exercise is important. Technique determines the benefit you derive from doing the exercise. All exercises should be done smoothly and precisely without jerking or dropping weights. Proper breathing technique also is important. For your safety when working with heavy weights make sure to have someone oversee or “spot” you. A spotter will assist you in preventing injury when lifting or lowering heavy weights.
All strength programs should target a steady progression. Increase in the amount of weight should come gradually. Big jumps in weight may result in injury to a muscle or joint. Remember to allow for rest and recovery days in between workouts.
Bone Health. How does exercise affect the health of my bones? Like the timbers in a building your skeleton is the framework to which the rest of your body is attached.
Bones, like muscles, respond to exercise when stress is placed upon them. Regular exercise triggers a reaction in the skeletal system by causing increased retention of calcium. One key to bone health is increasing their density by increasing the amount of calcium content. As we age and become more sedentary we lose bone mass. Loss of bone mass can result in degeneration of the spine, decreased mobility, and a general decline in overall health. One of the most debilitating outcomes of systematic loss of bone mass is Osteoporosis which manifests itself in making bones become weaker and subject to fracture easily. Most of these fractures happen in the spine, hip, and wrists.
What type of exercise works best? All exercise is beneficial as long as it isn’t overdone. It’s best to find something you are willing to commit to doing. Swimming, rowing, and bicycle riding are good exercises for muscular and cardiovascular systems but aren’t as good for improving bone health as they don’t put much stress on the skeletal system. The best exercise for your skeletal system is a combination of weight-bearing and resistance. Walking, running, hiking, and aerobics are some examples of exercises that are weight bearing. Resistance exercises include weight lifting and use of elastic bands.
A thirty minute weight bearing exercise program performed three to four times a week is ideal combined with resistance exercises performed two to three times per week with at least a day of rest in between for recovery. Excess exercise or not allowing for recovery may be more detrimental than no exercise at all.
What about diet? There are a number of foods you can eat to assist your body in getting the amount of calcium necessary for optimum bone health. Your doctor can help you in selecting those that are good sources of calcium and recommend supplements that can assure you are getting the recommended daily amounts.
Stretching and Flexibility. Preparing a stretching and flexibility program. How will stretching affect my flexibility?
Almost every sporting activity requires varying amounts of movement and differs in the demands it puts on specific areas of the body. One thing that makes physical activity easier is increased flexibility. The ability to flex the joints easily reduces tension on the muscles thus lessening the risk of injury and increasing peak performance in sporting activities. A regimen of stretching exercises helps prevent stressing the joints and muscles to the point of injury.
How can I improve my flexibility? To a degree your flexibility is genetically determined. You have the ability to gradually improve by either a passive (static) or active warm-up exercise program. Depending on the activity in which you are involved, say running, you may want to slowly stretch the muscles. Holding the muscle in a stretch for a specified time, releasing it, then repeating lessens the chance for an injury. When a properly stretched muscle is called upon to perform it is less prone to damage.
Throwing activities may require slower motion to start then increasing the speed and repetition as may swinging a bat, a golf club, or a tennis racket. It’s important to gradually work up to speed slowly. Sudden increases in demands on an unprepared muscle or joint may result in damage. In either case, a stretching program needs to be a regular part of any sporting activity. It may take four to six weeks of every other day stretching to see an improvement and should be continued as long as you perform the activity. Failure to keep up with the program will result in degradation of flexibility achieved.
Your doctor can help you develop a plan to increase flexibility and enhance your enjoyment and performance of your chosen sport or activity.
Rommel Hindocha, Doctor of Chiropractic, specializes in acute & chronic pain and treats various common conditions such as: Back Pain, Upper Back Pain, Shoulder Blade Pain, Sciatica, Disc Herniations, Disc Bulges, "Slipped Discs", Spinal Stenosis, Facet Syndrome, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Arthritis (Osteoarthritis), Spondylolisthesis, Failed Back Surgery, Piriformis Syndrome, Neck Pain, Whiplash, Muscle Spasm, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Muscle Strain, Ligament Strains, Tendinitis, Peripheral Nerve Entrapment and Disorders, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Shoulder Disorders, Golfers Elbow, Tennis Elbow, Ankle Sprains, Plantar Fasciitis, Hip Disorders, Bursitis, Knee Disorders, Headaches and much more.
Chiropractor, Dr. Hindocha treats patients from San Mateo, San Francisco, Daly City, Colma, San Bruno, South San Francisco, Brisbane, Millbrae, Burlingame, Belmont, Redwood City, Foster City, Redwood Shores, San Carlos, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View and San Jose.