Performing squatting exercises can help reduce pain associated with fibromyalgia. While squatting, do not allow your knees to drift beyond your toes and stay away from positions that produce sharp pain. Sounds coming from knees can be ignored as long as it is not painful. To continue doing squats without aggravating fibromyalgia, move the foot with the painful knee slightly ahead of other foot.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a very common, chronic condition where the patient describes “widespread pain” that is not limited to just one area of the body. Therefore, one must consider the whole body when addressing exercises for FM. Perhaps one of the most important exercise to consider is the Squat.
If you think about it, we must squat every time we sit down, stand up, get in/out of our car, and in/out of bed. Even climbing and descending steps results in a squat-lunge type of movement.
Common Problems Associated With Squatting
The problem with squatting is that we frequently lose (or misuse) the proper way to do it when we’re in pain as the pain forces us to compensate. This can lead to developing faulty movement patterns, thus irritating our ankles, knees, hips, and spine (particularly the lower back).
Benefits Of The Squat
In fact, performing a squatting exercise properly will strengthen the hips, thereby protecting the spine. It will also strengthen the glutel muscles, which can help you perform all of the daily activities mentioned above.
The “BEST” type of squat is the free-standing squat. This is done by bending the ankles, knees, and hips while keeping a curve in the low back. The latter is accomplished by “sticking the butt out” during the squat.
Here are a few precautions one must take when performing the squat:
- Do NOT allow the knees to drift beyond your toes.
- If you notice sounds coming from your knees they can be ignored as long as they are not accompanied by pain.
- If you do have pain, try moving the foot of the painful knee about six inches (~15 cm) ahead of the other and don’t squat as far down.
- Move within “reasonable boundaries of pain” by staying away from positions that reproduce sharp, lancinating pain that lingers upon completion.
There are MANY exercises that help Fibromyalgia, but this one is particularly important.