Physical Therapy for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia affects millions of Americans every year, yet it is still a disease that confounds many doctors who diagnose it. The symptoms can vary widely, and can be debilitating. People diagnosed with fibromyalgia suffer from muscle pain and tenderness in specific areas, and this can be a key part of the diagnosis. People who have fibromyalgia are generally tired most of the time, and can experience mood changes. Because this condition cannot be completely cured, treatments are generally used to help patients feel better. They may include a variety of modalities to provide relief, including physical therapy.
Common Causes of Fibromyalgia
No one knows exactly what causes fibromyalgia. However, doctors and researchers have a few ideas. For example, some believe that those who have fibromyalgia have more pain receptors, thereby causing increased sensations of pain. In this case, a small source of pain that would generally cause little to no problem for the majority of people, such as a bruise, can cause great pain for someone with fibromyalgia.
Other possible causes include the following:
- Past physically traumatic injuries
- Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus
- Genetic conditions
Exercises for Fibromyalgia
Although many people who have fibromyalgia often feel exhausted, frequent and active exercise is a vital component of fibromyalgia treatment. The key is to start with low-key, gentle exercises before getting the body used to more moderate exercises. Low-impact cardio exercises are typically best as they cause less pain than their high-impact counterparts do. Here are a few good exercise options for fibromyalgia management:
- Water Aerobics
- Tai chi
Physical Therapy for Fibromyalgia Pain
Physical therapy for fibromyalgia pain can be incredibly effective as part of a multidisciplinary approach. It addresses many of the side effects of fibromyalgia, such as pain, tiredness, and muscle weakness. A physical therapist can use a variety of treatments as part of the care plan, including massage therapy, hot and cold therapy, hydrotherapy, TENS, ultrasound and water aerobics. Exercise therapy is also important to improve muscular strength, increase range of motion and help with sleep.
While there are many options for treating symptoms, physical therapy is an important part of fibromyalgia treatment. A physical therapist will also be able to give patients exercises and treatments to use at home to keep symptoms under control, improving lifestyle and general wellbeing.
Fibromyalgia Treatment in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
Seeing Patients in the following Portland and Vancouver areas: