If your fibromyalgia gets in the way of your walking workouts by causing arm pain, there’s something you can do about this.

When you walk for fitness, especially on a treadmill, do you experience arm pain that you know is from your fibromyalgia?

Why does fibromyalgia induce pain in the arms from simply walking on a treadmill?

“This most likely occurs because you are using muscles you don’t usually use to either hold onto the bar or to keep your hands elevated,” explains Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers nationally, and author of “The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution.”

I’m a former certified personal trainer and have helped countless clients bust the egregious habit of holding onto a treadmill while walking.

So very wrong! Shutterstock/LightField Studios

The harder you hold on, the more likely you’ll experience pain in the arms from your fibromyalgia.

I’ve even had healthy clients who, prior to hiring me, experienced unexplained pain while using a treadmill because they were holding on.

Holding on totally disrupts natural gait.

This can result in repetitive stress injuries in healthy people, so if you have fibromyalgia, this is all the MORE reason to walk naturally — that is, don’t hold on unless you need to steady yourself to change the settings or sip water—then let go once you’re done.

It may seem wise to hold on in the name of fibromyalgia, but on the other hand, holding onto a treadmill suppresses your body’s balancing mechanism—making you less efficient at movement.

If you have a pain disorder, the last thing you need is a suppressed balancing system.

The solution to arm pain while walking on a treadmill or outside, is to let the arms and shoulders move naturally, in synch with your lower body, the way nature designed your body to move.

Shutterstock/ LightField Studios

You can’t go wrong with natural movement when you have fibromyalgia.

Dr. Teitelbaum is a board certified internist and nationally known expert in the fields of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep and pain.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.