What is it?
Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome involving many signs and symptoms. It presents as multiple painful areas in the body. It can also be accompanied by general fatigue, weakness, and a lack of energy or motivation.
Information and causes?
The root cause for fibromyalgia is unknown. However, it is thought to be due to changes in the nervous system and how it perceives pain. This can be triggered by a trauma, surgery, infection, or major emotional event, and can progress over time.
The signs and symptoms?
The signs and symptoms include widespread pain often described as a dull ache, multiple points of tenderness in the body, muscle stiffness particularly in the morning, headaches, “brain fog”, fatigue, depression, anxiety, pain or cramps in the abdomen or pelvis, irritable bowel and bladder, disturbed sleep, jaw pain, and numbness or tingling. Most often, life’s stresses cause the pain to become worse.
Physical therapy will initially focus educating the patient about the syndrome. Research shows that people who are knowledgeable about their condition have better coping abilities. This education can include learning how the body perceives pain and how to take control of the pain. Pain management through various type of exercises such as aerobics, manual therapy, stretching, and deep breathing can help improve overall function, general health and sleep quality in patients with fibromyalgia. Your physical therapist will design a program that is right for you and your goals.
At your first visit you should expect a physical therapist that is there to get to know you, your current complaints, and your goals. Using this information and the information they gather during their evaluation they will set up an individualized treatment plan that will help you reach your goals and get back to your life faster. Treatments could include modalities for pain control, manual therapy to help relieve muscle tension and promote healing, exercises to restore strength and motion, and muscular retraining to improve core activation and stabilization.