Relief for Fibromyalgia is possible with Physical Therapy Treatments
If you are suffering from chronic pain that is accompanied by fatigue, changes in mood, or irregular sleep patterns, you may be dealing with a more serious physiological condition, known as fibromyalgia.
It is normal to experience a little bit of pain from time to time. You may feel sore from exercising too much, or you may stub your toe on a piece of furniture. Most of the time, you’re able to shake it off or take ibuprofen and go about your day. However, sometimes you can experience pain that’s widespread and chronic, failing to diminish despite your best efforts. This can cause a large impact on your life that anti-inflammatory drugs simply will not fix.
If you can identify, contact ProTailored Physical Therapy today to request an appointment with one of our Fort Wayne, IN physical therapists at 260-739-0300. We can help provide relief for your fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia – defined:
Fibromyalgia is somewhat of an umbrella term used to describe someone who is experiencing a certain combination of symptoms. The exact causes of fibromyalgia are still unclear, although some medical experts believe it may be caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system – the part of your body that elicits “fight or flight” responses. This theory makes sense, as people tend to develop their first symptoms of fibromyalgia after experiencing a physically or emotionally traumatic event, though it has never been scientifically proven.
Fibromyalgia also tends to affect more women than men, and your likelihood of developing it increases if you have a family member with the same condition. Some people who develop fibromyalgia begin with chronic bouts of stress or depression, while other symptoms build over time. The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Tender areas of the body
- Chronic and/or sharp muscle pains
- Sensitivity to touch/numbness
- Disrupted sleep cycles/irregular sleep schedules
- Forgetfulness or disorientation
- Fluctuations in mood
How will physical therapy help my fibromyalgia?
Since fibromyalgia is not a disease, but rather a range of symptoms, there is no single, surefire treatment for the condition. Primary physicians will typically prescribe some sort of pain medication or an anti-depressant to manage symptoms; however, those medications do not address the chronic nature of the condition or the loss of function that chronic pain and distress typically bring.
At ProTailored Physical Therapy, we can provide effective treatments for both managing symptoms in the long-term and regaining optimum function to your body. Our Fort Wayne, IN physical therapists will examine your physical abilities, analyze your medical history, and discuss your current symptoms, in order to design a treatment plan that will fit your unique needs.
Treatments will typically begin with pain-relieving modalities to provide relief and promote healing. This may include the use of trigger point therapy, dry needling, massage, cupping, stretching, electrical stimulation, deep tissue laser therapy and/or other therapeutic tools that our physical therapist believes could be beneficial to your recovery. After this, your treatments will shift toward active therapies, such as muscle strengthening, range-of-motion activities, and cardiovascular exercises.
Common Questions Regarding Fibromyalgia:
Am I making up my pain since it could be from an emotional trauma?
Absolutely not. Your pain is very real, and emotional stressors and traumas certainly drive those pain signals, but your conscious mind/thoughts do not create the feelings of pain.
Will I have fibromyalgia my whole life?
That is a hard question since fibromyalgia is still a highly-studied topic and everyone has different experiences with it. Some people do experience it for many years, but the management of the symptoms helps them cope and go on living a functional life.
What can I do to start helping myself before scheduling an appointment at ProTailored Physical Therapy?
- Eating a healthy diet (limited processed foods and sugar intake)
- Drinking plenty of water (take your body weight, cut it in half, that number is how many ounces of water you should drink per day; I weigh 200lbs, I should be drinking 100oz of water each day)
- Getting plenty of quality sleep
- Regular cardiovascular exercise (going on a walk, riding a bike, etc.)
These things may not cure your condition, but they are scientifically-linked to help decrease widespread pain. These can be the start of your recovery before scheduling an appointment with our Fort Wayne, IN office.
I hear that regular exercise can help with my pain, but I hurt the next day after I exercise. So how can it be helping me?
The key with exercise is doing the right amount of exercise. You can be doing the correct exercise, but doing too much, or too little, will not give you the benefit you’re looking for. It may be a matter of cutting your current plan in half and seeing how your body responds before ramping things up again; instead of walking for 20min, maybe try 10min before bumping it up to 11min the next time). Being able to get a workout done and feel some muscle soreness 24-48 hours later is acceptable, but intense pain that decreases your functionality is not.
I struggle to sleep. What are some tips for me to get better sleep?
- Regular exercise can both help boost your daily energy levels, but also help you sleep at night. Keep exercise at least three or four hours before your time to start winding down for bed.
- Limit your liquid intake to no liquids two hours before bedtime (other than water for medications or a sip of water before lying down for bed).
- Don’t spend too much time in your bed doing things other than sleeping (talking on the phone, reading, etc.). Limit time in your bed for sleeping only (or sexual activity).
- Don’t watch TV, spend time on your phone, or read mentally stimulating material an hour before bedtime. That way you can allow your mind to wind down before going to sleep.
- Sleep with a pillow under your knees when lying on your back, or the pillow between your legs when lying on your side.
- Alcohol should not be an option to help you sleep, especially since alcohol has been shown to interrupt your sleep cycle.
This is not an all-inclusive list, but these tips can help get you on a track towards better sleep!
Relieve your symptoms TODAY!
Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise paired with postural strengthening activities not only relieves widespread pain, but also increases energy levels, improves sleep, and elevates mood. Regardless of where you are on your journey, it is possible to find relief from even your worst fibromyalgia symptoms, through our Fort Wayne, IN physical therapy services.
Call our Fort Wayne physical therapy office today at 260-739-0300 for an appointment and find out how we can get you started on the road to recovery.