How Can Physiotherapy Help With Fibromyalgia?
Millions of people worldwide suffer from the chronic illness fibromyalgia. It is characterised by all-over pain, exhaustion, and tenderness in the tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Physiotherapy is one of the treatment options that are available to help manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a condition for which there is currently no known cure. In this blog, we’ll look at how physical therapy can treat fibromyalgia and enhance the lives of those who have it.
Causes And Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects the muscles, joints, and soft tissues. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is believed to be related to the way the brain processes pain signals. Fibromyalgia can also be triggered by physical or emotional trauma, infections, or hormonal imbalances.
The symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, and cognitive difficulties such as memory loss and difficulty concentrating. Other symptoms may include irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, and sensitivity to light and sound. The symptoms of fibromyalgia can be challenging to manage, but physiotherapy can help alleviate pain and improve quality of life.
How Physiotherapy Helps With Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, physiotherapy can help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being. Here are some ways that physiotherapy can help with fibromyalgia:
- Manual therapy: Manual therapy, such as massage and joint mobilisation, can help reduce pain and improve joint mobility.
- Exercise therapy: Exercise therapy can help reduce pain and fatigue, improve flexibility and balance, and increase overall strength and endurance. A physiotherapist can design a custom exercise program for an individual with fibromyalgia based on their specific needs and abilities.
- Education: A physiotherapist can educate individuals with fibromyalgia on how to manage their symptoms, including pacing activities to prevent overexertion and reducing stress.
- Sleep management: Poor sleep is a common symptom of fibromyalgia. A physiotherapist can provide education and advice on sleep hygiene and relaxation techniques to improve sleep quality.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and fatigue in individuals with fibromyalgia. A physiotherapist trained in acupuncture can provide this treatment.
Other Treatment Options For Fibromyalgia
While physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia, it is often used in conjunction with other treatment options to provide the best possible outcome. Some other treatment options that can be used alongside physiotherapy to manage fibromyalgia include:
- Medications: Several medications can be prescribed to manage fibromyalgia symptoms, including painkillers, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a talking therapy that can help manage the negative thoughts and emotions associated with fibromyalgia. This type of therapy can be beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves the use of needles inserted into specific points in the body to relieve pain and tension. Some people find acupuncture to be helpful in managing fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Massage therapy: Massage therapy can help reduce muscle pain and tension associated with fibromyalgia. It can also help reduce stress and improve sleep quality.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help manage fibromyalgia symptoms, but it’s important to work with a physiotherapist to create a safe and effective exercise plan.
When To Seek Professional Help For Fibromyalgia
When you are experiencing the symptoms of fibromyalgia, it can be challenging to know when to seek professional help. The symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as pain and fatigue, can be debilitating and affect your ability to carry out daily activities. It’s essential to seek medical attention if you suspect that you may have fibromyalgia.
You should consider seeing a healthcare professional if you experience the following symptoms:
- Chronic pain and fatigue that lasts for more than three months
- Stiffness, numbness or tingling in your arms or legs
- Difficulty sleeping or waking up feeling tired
- Cognitive difficulties such as difficulty concentrating or remembering
- Headaches or migraines
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive issues
- Anxiety or depression
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help diagnose fibromyalgia and recommend appropriate treatment options, including physiotherapy.
It’s important to note that fibromyalgia can be challenging to diagnose because the symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. It may take some time and testing to rule out other potential causes before confirming a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia can be a challenging condition to manage, but physiotherapy can be an effective part of a comprehensive treatment plan. By working with a physiotherapist, patients can learn exercises and techniques to manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. It is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating fibromyalgia, and patients should work closely with their healthcare team to develop a treatment plan that meets their individual needs.
If you are looking for a reliable and experienced physiotherapy clinic, consider Upwell Health Collective. Our team of expert physiotherapists can provide a range of services to help manage your fibromyalgia symptoms.