Exercise May Cut Risk of Fibromyalgia in Women with Insomnia, Study Finds

Exercise May Cut Risk of Fibromyalgia in Women with Insomnia, Study Finds
Women experiencing insomnia are twice as likely to develop fibromyalgia as women without sleeping problems, a study suggests. Exercise may lessen such risk, researchers report. The study, “The joint effect of insomnia symptoms and lifestyle factors on risk of self-reported fibromyalgia in women: longitudinal data from the HUNT Study,” was published in BMJ Open. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and disturbed sleep. Difficulties with sleep onset, maintenance, and persistent non-restorative sleep are particularly distressing to fibromyalgia patients. “Almost all women with fibromyalgia report some sleep problems,” the researchers said. Although the association between chronic widespread pain and insomnia is bidirectional, evidence suggests that sleep impairment may have a stronger impact on chronic pain than vice versa. “Epidemiological studies indicate insomnia symptoms increase the risk of fibromyalgia and widespread pain among an otherwise healthy population,” the team stated. However, it is not clear whether the number of insomnia symptoms is associated with risk of fibromyalgia in a dose-dependent way and whether lifestyle factors can change this association. "Some evidence indicates that leisure time physical activity and maintenance of normal body weight to some extent can reduce the adverse effect of sleep problems on risk of chronic pain in the low back and neck/shoulders," the authors wrote. A Norwegian team of investigators sought to study the association be
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