June 15


Muscle Pain and Fibromyalgia

By Sue Ingebretson

June 15, 2010

Fitness, muscle, pain, soreness, tai chi

We all know that fibromyalgia is a pain. But, what kind of pain is it? I mention in my book, FibroWHYalgia, that fibromyalgia has turned me into a Pain Archeologist. In Chapter 3, I go on to list my definitions of the different types of pain I experience.

This post will be about one type only – muscle pain. In particular, this is about the type of muscle pain resulting from exercise or a fitness program. I’m sure you know what I mean. No matter what the exercise is, we’ll likely feel it later. Sometimes it’s that same day, but most often, it’s the following morning. We wake up and our first thought is, “What on earth did I do yesterday?”

Then we remember, “Oh yeah. I went to the gym.”

This is actually muscle soreness rather than pain. It’s predictable and temporary. It’s concentrated on the muscle groups used during exercise, and it does wear off – eventually. This week, I experienced more muscle soreness than I have in quite a while, and I’m very happy about it.

I love tai chi. If you’ve ready my book, you know that. Nearly a year ago, my local gym cancelled my beloved class. In retribution, I cancelled my membership. I’ve been doing other fitness programs at home, but have missed tai chi something fierce. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally hosting a tai chi class (with my wonderful instructor!) here at my home on Tuesdays starting last week.

It felt fabulous to do the warm ups again and get into the rhythms of the familiar exercises. I was definitely fatigued, but my lack of stamina was met with great enthusiasm.

The following morning, my muscles let me know that I was more out of shape than I’d thought. I was sore in places that hadn’t been sore in a long time. I think that’s a good thing. I don’t mind muscle soreness – especially when it’s focused on where I need toning. Muscle soreness lets me know how much exercise is too much or too little.

For me, the results are worth the increased soreness. I need to challenge myself and that happens in a class setting. It’s simply more enjoyable to workout with a group. And, I know that as I stick with it, the less sore I’ll be.

Tai chi is one activity that I feel is worth increased (temporary) pain. It makes my “approved” fitness list. What kind of fitness activities top your approved list?

  1. I love hiking around our property and Kundalini yoga. I try to do them every day without fail. I can usually tell the difference between sore muscles from working out and pain from a flare. I cleaned house last week and a few hours later I hurt head to toe and I knew that was a flare. My MD/Naturopath just told me yesterday that if I would stabilize my blood sugar by eating 6 times/day and a little more protein then some of that “flare” pain would go away. I am giving it a try!

    Thanks for a great blog post. 😉

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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson