Don’t Cut Corners When Stretching to Ease Pain

Don’t Cut Corners When Stretching to Ease Pain
A rheumatologist finally diagnosed my fibromyalgia in 1990, after an exhaustive, decades-long search by me for pain relief. In addition to the diagnosis, he doled out some of the most valuable advice anyone has ever given me. He said that the best way to survive life with fibromyalgia is to stretch my muscles every day.  During the intervening years, I've discovered that a particularly painful period often follows a lapse in stretching or exercise. Once that is rectified, my pain level should decrease.  My rheumatologist's top recommendation was warm-water exercise. However, he acknowledged that there would be circumstances when a pool wasn't an option or when fatigue or other symptoms might prevent me from going to one. “On those days,” he said, “even if you don’t get out of bed, stretching is still a must!”  For years, I was fortunate to have an affordable warm-water pool located near my home. Swimming three or more times a week definitely helped me to control my symptoms. I believe it was the reason I could work full time and attend college at night — all while being a soccer mom. The advantage of warm water for me is that it relaxes the muscles and reduces the chance of spasms. It also makes stretching almost effortless. I can do more of it before becoming tired or sore. Increasing one’s range of motion is the
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