small steps to health tai chi

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Stiffness: Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Muscle stiffness is often accompanied by the discomfort of pain and cramps when the muscles feel tight. It makes it difficult to move, particularly after resting. Muscle stiffness can be treated with stretching and gentle movement which also aids restful sleep, which in turn, improves the symptoms of stiffness in the mornings.

Mornings Stiffness

Fibro sufferers dread mornings, it’s like waking up with a hangover from hell without the night before.

Un-replenished sleep can lead to waking unrefreshed. Not having quality REM sleep leads to your body not repairing itself fully during sleep causing you to wake up to high levels of stiffness, fatigue, pain levels, sensitivities and a general feeling of being hit by a bus. Trying to get to the bathroom in a straight line can be challenging. You feel like you are in a pinball machine as you knock your legs on the bed post and your shoulders as you walk through a doorway.

Furthermore, your tendons can be constricted causing your walking to be restricted and painful. However, don’t right off your day! It can take up to a couple of hours to come round and loosen up.

Here are a few things to help:

Loosen up

Before you get out of bed, start loosening up you’re your legs by slowly rotating your ankle joints and do a few gentle body squeezes and wiggles, especially around your hips and bottom just to wake up the muscles.


Relax your muscles

Apply heat to relax the muscles such as a hot bath or shower as soon as you can after getting out of bed.


Plan accordingly

Schedule meetings and appointments for late morning to enable you to come round slowly.

Sedentary Stiffness

Due to limited energy levels and needing lots of rest, we find ourselves sitting or lying for long periods during the day. This can lead to our muscles becoming weaker and tighter. So, when you need to stand to either go to the loo, open the door or to get a cuppa, it becomes increasingly more difficult because the muscles are weaker which in turn cause more stiffness and pain. Then we find ourselves in a catch 22 and we then move less to try to prevent the pain. Moreover, inactivity can contribute to weight gain, adding more stress to the body.

So how can we reduce the pain and stiffness?


Move around

Specialists have advised that you get up and move around every 20 minutes to help loosen up.


Gentle movements

Activities such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, gentle walks and swimming are beneficial.

The movements gently increase core strength, improving the health of the muscles and reducing pain and stiffness. This also helps aid better sleep and in turn you wake up with less stiffness.


Healthy foods

Eating healthily will also reduce the pain and inflammation, giving you more energy to take part in gentle exercise and other low-level activities.

Advice from Julie

I hear your comments, I can’t do Tai chi, I’m too ill, I can’t remember the moves…..I couldn’t until I tried, it’s not competitive and it’s not a quick fix!


What we can do is give you the skills to change your lifestyle to be able to manage your Fibro and CFS symptoms anywhere. We need to keep moving gently and affectively for the rest of our lives. Cringe moment here, but our body is a temple and we need to look after it so we don’t wake the alien.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a standalone syndrome of symptoms. There are over 200 hundred symptoms that are categorised with 5 main symptoms: Pain, Fatigue, Fibro Fog, Sleep Disturbances and IBS. The cycle of overlapping symptoms are exasperated by stress, trauma and further conditions.

Click on each symptom to find out more.

Fibromyalgia - Pain

A predominant symptom of Fibromyalgia, long term chronic pain can cause damage to a person's health. Fibro pain can be a total onslaught of the central nervous system, this can affect everything.

Fibromyalgia - Stiffness

Stiffness in the muscles often accompanied by cramps and discomforting pain with the muscles feeling tight, making movement feel strenuous

Fibromyalgia - Fatigue

A tiredness that isn't relieved by quality sleep durations. Fatigue exhibits as feelings of physical, mental and emtional exhaustion for long periods.

Fibromyalgia - Headache

Some of the most debilitating symptoms of Fibro are when they affect the brain, head and face. The head is a nexus point for the majority of senses, because of this symptoms can be quite diverse.

Fibromyalgia - Fibro Fog

A deep sensation of cloudiness, a lack of coherrant thoughts in the mind manifesting in a variety of ways. Problems in multi-tasking, recall and confusion are commonplace.

Fibromyalgia - Sleeping Difficulties

Individuals suffering with Fibro tend to find themselves wide awake at bed times due to to disturbances within the inner body clock; the nervous and endocrine systems are often affected.

Fibromyalgia - IBS

The health of the digestive system plays a highly important part in the well being of our bodies. Around 10% of the world's population live with a form of IBS, episodes can last from days to months.

Fibromyalgia - Anxiety & Depression

Mental health is a wide spectrum that encompasses our ability to enjoy life, overcome disappointment and sadness through emotional and spiritual resilience.

Programmes and activities that Fibro Active offer to help manage your symptoms

Fibro Active have several programmes and activities that can help you with your symptoms of Fibromyalgia.  We focus on a healthy lifestyle, gentle exercise and sharing information whilst supporting it's members to accept and manage their illness in a positive and friendly atmosphere.


Tai Chi & Qigong Classes

Tai Chi for Arthritis is designed to enable people to be active when they are unable to participate in other forms of exercise. For more information as well as times and dates please visit our Tai Chi page.


Fibro Podcast

Tune in to our Fibro Podcasts, where we showcase candid discussions, expert insights, and personal narratives addressing diverse facets of life with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.


Bulletin Board

For additional details about the group, explore our Bulletin Board. There, you'll discover current information on all the activities the group engages in, ranging from upcoming events to the group program.