Seniors with fibromyalgia experience pain throughout the body, especially in the back, neck, arms, legs, and joints. Chronic pain creates a complex set of problems for the elderly, but following a daily regimen of gentle range-of-motion exercises and stretching can help seniors manage symptoms and discomfort. After checking with your loved one’s physician, North Houston senior home care experts suggest starting with these five exercises.
1. Head Tilt and Head Turn
The neck is an area of the body that is highly susceptible to fibromyalgia pain. The head tilt and head turn exercises are a simple yet effective way to relieve pain in the neck. These stretches help the muscles around the neck to relax and can help alleviate headaches that are often associated with this chronic condition.
2. Shoulder Circles
Shoulder circles can be done in a standing or seated position and are easy for seniors to do. This exercise helps relieve the tension in and around the shoulders and neck area. Stiff muscles in the shoulders can cause them to become immobile and tight if not routinely stretched.
3. Wall Calf Stretch
This exercise is easy to do and is done with the support of a nearby wall or the back of a chair. It releases and elongates tightened calf muscles while making them more flexible. It’s easy to forget about the calf, but seniors should never neglect the calf muscles because strong, healthy calves are necessary to walk properly.
4. Backward Stretch
The backward stretch is a passive exercise that centers on the muscles in the lower and mid back region. It can be done anytime when a senior is standing to help alleviate the pain that accompanies fibromyalgia symptoms by simply (and carefully) pushing the pelvis out and bending backwards.
5. Forearm Twist and Wrist Circles
Fibromyalgia can cause joint stiffness and pain. The forearm twist and wrist circles are an excellent way to increase the range of motion in the wrist and elbow area of the arm. Targeting these areas with stretching exercises makes everyday activities more enjoyable and less painful.
Seniors with fibromyalgia sometimes have trouble completing basic activities like running errands, cooking, and cleaning. If your loved one could use additional help around the home, consider an in-home caregiver in North Houston who can help with the above tasks as well as many more everyday responsibilities. To learn more, call 832-412-1345 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.