There is a Doctor by the name of Jonathan Kuttner who directed a discussion on Fibromyalgia what was recorded and can be watched on YouTube. I think there are 8 parts to the discussion, but today i want to focus on just one point and that is exercise.
He says that when a person is referred to him for diagnosis, he can tell by their ‘gait’ and their ‘walk’ if they have Fibromyalgia even before he carries out any other tests or conducts any discussion with the person. Personally it did not surprise me to hear him say this, for myself it has become very clear to me and to others that have known me for some years that both my ‘gait’ and the way i ‘walk’ has changed considerably.
- ‘gait’ – the way that we stand or sit
- ‘mobility’ – the way in which a body moves, which is normally walking
Before i had my fall and was then unable to walk very much and therefore spent the best part of a year in bed or just immobile i would practice something i called Yoga-stretch, it was of my own invention and suited me very well. I also had a job that meant i was on my feet and walking for the best part of the day. Even on my days off i could be seen walking around the nearby park or even into town. However after a year of being immobile it was became more and more difficult to perform even the rudimentary movements of self-care.
Since this time i have come to understand that the less we do the more difficult it becomes for any of us, to be able to ‘do’! Add that to the fact that our bodies have always been made for movement and the lack of movement decreases the body’s ability to function as it should. For instance many of us will have begun a new exercise regime at some point in our lives and found that after just one workout our muscles feel like they are on fire and about to explode. Now if you are unable to move for several weeks, months or even a year or two then when you tried to move the muscles feel strained and painful; this is what FMS feels like.
Back to the original thought of FMS sufferers having a specific ‘gait’ and ‘walk’, I have found it to be true. I see people hobbling along scrunched over who do not seem to have any obvious disability and yet, although i haven’t been brave enough to ask, i believe some if not all of these people have FMS. I understand perfectly well why people have a tendency to walk in such a way and that is because when you know that the body can be in so much pain that you could quite happily chop your arms and legs off (at times) you believe wrongly that by scrunching inwards you can prevent the pain from flaring. However this is not the case, now believe me when i say ‘i know how it feels’ because i really do, but we need to learn to straighten out.
Try this –
Stand with your back against a door or a flat wall (a door works better as there is no skirting board) Place your feet hip width apart, toes pointing forward and shuffle your heels back till they touch the door. Now try and straighten your neck and place the back of your head against the door. Now do not force things, but try and do this once or twice a day to begin with.
Where is the pain?
Before we can train our muscles to move again we need to teach our bodies to stand up straight.