Fibromyalgia is a medical issue that is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and discomfort in your joints. In addition to discomfort, fibromyalgia can also present with or lead to other issues, like general fatigue, sleep problems, mood swings and difficulty concentrating. Experts don’t know what causes the condition and there is no complete cure, but a number of treatments have been shown to help control and reduce symptoms. We spotlight four of those treatment plans in today’s blog.
Tips For Treating Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia tends to present with pain, fatigue and tenderness, and oftentimes these symptoms come and go in waves. This is called a flare up, and people can experience a flare up for different reasons. Diet, activity, stress and posture issues are common sources of flare ups, which is why these four treatment plans can be effective in managing your fibromyalgia.
- Physical Therapy – Some people think that physical therapists only help injured athletes and people who have recently undergone a surgical procedure, but a good portion of our client base are people who are dealing with chronic conditions, like fibromyalgia, arthritis or widespread chronic pain. Physical therapy can help treat fibromyalgia in a number of ways. Your PT can help you develop an exercise and strength training program so that muscles are stronger and less likely to be affected by a flare up, and we can talk to you about your diet and the role our food choices play in a flare up. We can also look at your posture and determine if your gait or your body positioning is putting undue stress on certain areas of your body and in turn increasing your risk of a flare up.
- Biofeedback – Biofeedback is a technique that we offer at OrthoRehab Specialists. It’s a technique that helps clients to better understand and control certain physiological functions. Biofeedback equipment can give clients information about their bodily functions, like their heart rate, blood pressure and how muscles contract and expand based on certain stimuli. Biofeedback training teaches you how to get in tune with how your body responds to certain movements or actions. You can learn more about biofeedback training on this page.
- Exercise – We understand that if you’re sore or fatigued as a result of your fibromyalgia that exercise may be the last thing you want to pursue, but exercise and movement has been shown to be very helpful in controlling and alleviating fibromyalgia-related symptoms. You’ll want to be smart about how you approach exercise, as doing movements incorrectly or pushing your body too hard can lead to a flare up, which is why it’s helpful to connect with a physical therapist who can tailor a specific exercise routine based on your needs and deficits. Exercise can help to develop muscles, increase aerobic conditioning, reduce fatigue and release endorphins in our brain, all of which can positively control fibromyalgia flare ups and symptoms.
- Stress Reduction – Finally, as we mentioned above, stress can be a major trigger for people dealing with fibromyalgia. Not only can stress trigger a flare up, but it can also intensify symptoms. Studies have found that stress can negatively affect how pain is perceived, so by learning to manage stress, you can work to make fibromyalgia symptoms less bothersome. And while it’s easier said than done to simply reduce stress, your physical therapist can identify sources of stress in your life and help you find a stress reduction program that works for you.
It can be hard to not get discouraged if you’re dealing with fibromyalgia, but know that there are treatments and resources available that can help. The team at OrthoRehab Specialists would be more than happy to help chart a treatment course that is right for your individual needs. For more information, or to set up an appointment with a physical therapist, give our office a call today at (612) 339-2041.
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