Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition believed to be related to arthritis. It can cause significant muscular pain, but with no known cause or specific point of origin. The pain can affect a person’s ability to think clearly, sleep well, and remember important information. The effects of fibromyalgia can go well beyond just the physical.
To date, the FDA has approved just three medications to treat the condition. However, the medications will only help to manage the symptoms, not cure the underlying problem. The FDA recommends finding alternative treatment and management methods to alleviate the muscular pain and stiffness caused by fibromyalgia.
There have been a number of studies analyzing the effects of yoga on fibromyalgia. One study from 2011 found that a combination of yoga and meditation helped to increase the number of good days for fibromyalgia sufferers. While yoga didn’t decrease fatigue or pain, it did reduce the number of work days missed.
A 2010 study found that eight weeks of yoga poses, breathing exercises, and meditations helped to reduce pain and fatigue, as well as mood problems associated with the condition.
In 2013, a meta-analysis of three previous studies highlighted yoga’s ability to improve sleep. Regular yoga practice reduced instances of sleep disturbance, as well as helped to combat depression and fatigue.
Sadly, there aren’t enough studies to confirm the link between yoga and fibromyalgia relief. While research has proven in the past to help manage and reduce the severity of symptoms, there have been no properly designed clinical studies to provide specific data on yoga’s ability to prevent and minimize fibromyalgia pain, fatigue, and other effects.
The good news is that the research out there does indicate yoga can work. While we may not yet have solid, definitive proof on the benefits of yoga for fibromyalgia symptoms, the existing research does point to the fact that yoga can help to manage pain, reduce fatigue, improve sleep, and minimize mood problems. It’s worth giving yoga a try just to have a few more good days, right?
For those with fibromyalgia, it’s better to look for the gentler forms of yoga, such as hatha, restorative, or Bikram yoga. You need to take into account your physical limitations as you find a yoga practice. After all, pushing your body too hard can lead to a flare-up of the pain.
Your goal should be to find a yoga that helps you to manage the symptoms through meditation, breathing exercises, and physical poses. The result could very well be more good days, fewer sleep disturbances, and possibly even less pain.
1. Nall, Rachel, “Is Yoga a Helpful Treatment for Fibromyalgia?,” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.