Blunted Anti-Inflammatory Response to Exercise Increases Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Note: You may read the full text of this article free HERE.

Preliminary evidence of a blunted anti-inflammatory response to exhaustive exercise in fibromyalgia.


Exercise intolerance, as evidenced by a worsening of pain, fatigue, and stiffness after novel exertion, is a key feature of fibromyalgia (FM). In this pilot study, we investigate whether; insufficient muscle repair processes and impaired anti-inflammatory mechanisms result in an exaggerated pro-inflammatory cytokine response to exhaustive exercise, and consequently a worsening of muscle pain, stiffness and fatigue in the days post-exercise.

We measured changes in muscle pain and tenderness, fatigue, stiffness, and serum levels of neuroendocrine and inflammatory cytokine markers in 20 women with FM and 16 healthy controls (HCs) before and after exhaustive treadmill exercise.

Compared to HCs, FM participants failed to mount the expected anti-inflammatory response to exercise and experienced a worsening of symptoms post-exercise. However, changes in post-exertional symptoms were not mediated by post-exertional changes in pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Source: Journal of Neuroimmunology, October 17, 2014. By Britta Torgrimson-Ojerio, Rebecca L. Ross, Nathan F. Dieckmann, Stephanie Avery, Robert M. Bennett, Kim D. Jones, Anthony J. Guarino and Lisa J. Wood. School of Nursing, Oregon Health Science University, Portland, OR 97239, United States.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (26 votes, average: 4.10 out of 5)

2 thoughts on “Blunted Anti-Inflammatory Response to Exercise Increases Fibromyalgia Symptoms”

  1. Fiona63 says:

    Last winter was so cold I came out of it barely walking and like a hermit. During the summer I started taking the Adrenal Energy and it has helped my recooperation time, tremendously. But that has seemed to drop as the weather has gotten cold again. I personally respond to the weather in a bad way.

    During the warmer weather I was able to exercise longer and have a shorter time between times that I could exercise without pain. this may not be what you need for this article

    1. IanH says:

      This is peculiar in that there is no reported pro-inflammatory response to the exercise because a pro-inflammatory response to strong exercise is NORMAL in healthy people. It is hard to know from the report whether there was a “normal” pro-inflammatory response in HC’s or FM’s or not.

      The blunted anti-inflammatory response has been shown before and this confirms that and it is probably mediated by TLR4 which may also be the reason for a low/non pro-inflammatory response. That is it may be mediating both altered responses.

Leave a Reply