I’ve stumbled upon an article by Laird Harrison on Medscape: Exercise Stimulates Pain Modulation in Fibromyalgia. The article is about a study by Laura Ellingson, PhD, which has been presented at the American Pain Society (APS) 34th Annual Scientific Meeting.
12 female patients with fibromyalgia had a brain scan by functional MRI after exercise and at rest. Pain was measured by the McGill Pain Questionnaire Visual Analogue Scale. It dropped by 5 points and increased after rest (7 days). “The brain scans showed significantly greater activity in the patients' left anterior insulae after exercise than after rest as well.”
This is a good start, but findings have to be verified in larger groups.
As we are already combing exercise programs and cognitive behavioral therapy since the late 1990ies at our center, we feel that these findings support our therapeutic approach. I hope that functional MRI studies will be done in the combination of exercise programs and cognitive behavioral therapy in the near future.
For the time being, please exercise as much as you can without getting into exertion, which I call the comfort range (Wohlfühlbereich).