The small study compared strength and other measures of muscle function in 16 women with fibromyalgia and 16 healthy women, focusing on the hips, knees and ankles.
Researchers say they found low muscle strength in the legs, low function in the knees and hips, and poor balance and agility in the fibromyalgia group.
Furthermore, they say the greater the hip problems, knee pain, overall pain and severity of fibromyalgia symptoms, the more likely the person was to have a history of falling.
I think the main take-away from this study, for those of us who are living with fibromyalgia, is that we may be able to strengthen these areas and help prevent falls. If light exercise, within your personal limits, can keep you from falling and possibly hurting yourself, it'd be well worth the effort.
Some experts believe fibromyalgia puts you at risk for osteoporosis, which makes falls even more hazardous. Between our pain amplification (hyperalgesia) and generally slow healing rate, a broken bone can be a huge setback for us.
This is just a small preliminary study, but if the results are replicated on a larger scale, they could lead to recommendations of physical therapy to help with strength in our legs. I didn't used to equate balance to leg strength, but after having physical therapy for a knee injury a year ago, I really saw how they were connected.
Do you fall or stumble a lot? Do you have a lot of hip or knee pain? Have your falls lead to serious injuries? Leave your comments below!
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