An article worth reading in full from Cort Johnson at Health Rising
Most studies suggest that ‘exercise’ is generally helpful for FM, but a CFS-like scenario still prevails; vigorous exercise such as running, biking, etc, will throw an FM patient into bed and really vigorous exercise is almost unheard of.
Something strange is going on in fibromyalgia to cause the exercise intolerance there and researchers are zeroing in on the same area in both FM and chronic fatigue syndrome – blood flows and the muscles.
This study found FM patients muscles were getting the blood they needed but for some reason they weren’t taking up the oxygen very quickly and it took longer for the oxygen levels of their cells to get back to normal after exercise. Two things could explain this strange scenario
The mitochondria use oxygen to produce energy; since damaged mitochondria don’t use as much oxygen, damage to the mitochondria could explain the low oxygen uptake in FM.
researchers didn’t find reduced blood flows but they did find reduced oxygen uptake which suggested the cells were in an ischemic state – and that could be the key to the whole shebang.
The Sympathetic Nervous System and Fibromyalgia Again
Several researchers, however, believe that ischemia induced pain plays a key role in the reduced activity and ‘deconditioning’ sometimes found in FM.
The muscles themselves may be affected in ME/CFS/FM. Increased levels of pyruvate and lactate in the interstitial spaces of back muscles (trapezius, again) pointed to an anerobic state and suggested metabolic problems were present as well in FM patients.
the SNS shuts down the blood vessels when you’re at rest and then fails to open them sufficiently when you exercise or become otherwise active.
This explains exactly what I’ve felt when abruptly initiating physical effort, like climbing stairs after sitting at a desk for hours. Once my body gets “warmed up”, my pulse and circulation are higher, and the same effort no longer causes that burning pain it did initially.
Significant evidence suggests low oxygen states caused by low blood volume, overly constricted blood vessels and perhaps mitochondrial dysfunction could be causing pain and other problems in FM and ME/CFS.