Do you often wake up with severely aching muscles, even though you haven’t exercised? If so, you may be experiencing a key symptom of fibromyalgia. Enduring pain and stiffness every day can have a debilitating impact on your life, which is why fibromyalgia can be one of the most difficult health conditions to deal with. Fortunately, there are ways to make your fibromyalgia symptoms more manageable. Physical therapy, for example, has proven to be highly effective in combating the impact of fibromyalgia symptoms.
Physical therapists have helped numerous patients mitigate the symptoms of fibromyalgia while helping people lead more normal lives.
What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Essentially, fibromyalgia causes pain by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
There are several potential causes of fibromyalgia, including a physical trauma infection, stress, or surgery. In some instances, the symptoms can materialize without a specific cause.
The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Pain is the primary symptom of fibromyalgia. Such pain can manifest as a dull ache that lasts for at least three months; with the pain being distributed throughout the entire body. Fibromyalgia can also cause severe fatigue. People who suffer from the condition can feel tired even after a full night’s sleep. In some cases, the pain caused by fibromyalgia can interrupt sleep and cause sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea. Lastly, evidence shows that fibromyalgia can significantly impair cognitive abilities, making it difficult to concentrate on any task requiring mental focus.
How Does Physical Therapy Help Fibromyalgia?
One of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia is physical therapy. A strict therapy regimen can improve one’s mood and physical pain as a physical therapist mitigates your symptoms and helps you perform everyday functions more efficiently. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, there are several types of physical therapy that can make a dramatic difference in your quality of life. The key is to find the kind what works best for you.
Hydrotherapy can do wonders for those who deal with the constant aches associated with fibromyalgia. It involves using water to ease the pain in your muscles. When you are experiencing pain, fill up a tub with warm water and soak in it. Be sure not to use hot water as it may cause a drop in your blood pressure. Adding essential oils and Epsom salts to the warm water can provide additional comfort. If you do this before bedtime, it may be easier to enjoy a restful sleep.
Deep Tissue Massage
An experienced massage therapist can help diminish the pain in your body caused by fibromyalgia. They focus on the tissue in your muscles, thereby decreasing tension and making you more comfortable. If it’s possible, visit your massage therapist on a regular basis, and let them know you’re dealing with fibromyalgia. That way, the therapist will tailor their approach to help ease your pain.
Heat is another relatively simple way to lessen the level of pain you are experiencing from fibromyalgia, as heat helps your muscles relax and promote healthy blood flow. For effective heat treatment, apply a hot towel to the areas where you are experiencing pain. The towel can be dry or wet, depending on what works best for you.
Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise
Many who suffer from fibromyalgia are nervous that exercise will aggravate their symptoms. However, engaging in low-impact exercise without putting pressure on your joints has proven to have a positive impact on your fibromyalgia symptoms.
When beginning your exercise regimen, try low-stress exercises like walking or swimming. These exercises will help you get in better shape and may decrease your overall pain levels. Focusing on your strength and flexibility is also essential. Yoga, weight-lifting, and Pilates are exercises that can help you gain strength while easing your pain. Additionally, your increased flexibility will improve your range of motion.
Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to increase circulation while decreasing muscle spasms and stiffness. The sound waves create heat that diminishes the aches and pains associated with fibromyalgia.
Physical Therapy and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia can make life very difficult for those who experience its symptoms. However, an effective physical therapy program can ease your pain and greatly improve your quality of life.
The specialized physical therapy we offer at Countryside Orthopaedics can help reduce your fibromyalgia symptoms. Our physical therapy services are available to anyone, whether you are an orthopaedic patient of ours or not. We offer a wide range of proven and highly specialized PT techniques to treat fibromyalgia. We customize your physical therapy and rehabilitation according to your unique situation, needs, and goals. Our highly qualified and caring physical therapy team is committed to working with you to improve your health and well-being.
Call us today to book your appointment. Our dedicated staff will help manage your fibromyalgia so you can get back to a more positive quality of life.