How Do Physical Therapists Help Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia and physical therapist

Physical therapists impart self-management skills to people suffering from various conditions, including fibromyalgia. In particular, they assist fibromyalgia patients in building their strength and improving their range of motion. More importantly, they teach patients effective ways to relieve themselves from the intense muscle pain and stiffness. Read on to find out how physical therapists can help you in dealing with your chronic pain syndrome.




What Is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a treatment which aims to heal and prevent injuries and disabilities. A physical therapist uses various techniques to help fibromyalgia such as:

  • Proper posture – to enhance efficient muscle functioning which in turn reduces fatigue and pain
  • Slow stretching exercises – to increase muscle flexibility
  • Relaxation exercises – to decrease tense muscle and stiffness
  • Wide range of motion exercises – to increase joints movement

Regular physical therapy program takes your mind away from your pain and fatigue hence allowing you to concentrate on lifestyle changes to help you take control of your chronic pain syndrome.

How Can Physical Therapists Help Fibromyalgia?

Physical therapists are equipped with knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology, also known as the study of movement. A physical therapist can develop individualized exercise programs which are customized to your ability and needs. The programs can focus on various aspects such as stretching, strengthening, improving mobility, restoring function, relieving pain, as well as preventing permanent disabilities. In general, these carefully designed programs aim to help patients deal with the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia. Physical therapists are well capable of assisting all kinds of patients, both infants and adults.




How Can Physical Therapy Help Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain?

Although there is not yet a known cure for fibromyalgia, physical therapy can help in relieving fibromyalgia symptoms. They help in minimizing the feeling of stiffness and fatigue. Besides teaching patients various exercise programs, physical therapists use other tools to help treat fibro symptoms. The tools include:

  • Deep tissue massage
  • Use of ice and heat packs in hydrotherapy
  • Low-impact aerobic conditioning or Water aerobics
  • TENS units (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Ultrasound

With the help of these tools, physical therapists can further help fibromyalgia patients engage their muscles and joints to increase flexibility and mobility.

Benefits of Physical Therapy In Fibromyalgia

The biggest benefit that fibro patients can get from physical therapists is that they can design a customized program(s) for the sole purpose of relieving fibromyalgia. Moreover, a physical therapist can guide and track your progress as you go on with the treatment. They will be able to tell whether you are adhering to the treatment and if you are practicing proper therapy habits. They will know whether you follow proper alignments and proper movement patterns during your self-practices at home as part of your “homework”. Hence, your physical therapist is not only there to design and guide your treatment programs, they also provide emotional support and companionship in your recovery process.

Keep in mind that, the most important goal of physical therapy is for patients to learn the specific treatments and exercises and to do them regularly or as needed.

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