How can physical therapy help with my fibromyalgia?
Physical therapy focuses on the treatment, healing, and prevention of injuries or disabilities. Regular physical therapy programs may help you regain control of your fibromyalgia as you focus on lifestyle changes rather than on the chronic problems of pain, stiffness, and fatigue.
Proper posture, which your physical therapist will help you with, allows efficient muscle function that results in your being able to avoid undue fatigue and pain. In addition, the therapist may use slow stretching exercises to help you improve muscle flexibility. Relaxation exercises that the therapist will show you will help you reduce muscle tension.
A licensed physical therapist has a background in anatomy and kinesiology (the study of movement). This allows the therapist to develop specific stretching and strengthening programs to meet your individual needs. Physical therapists work with all types of patients - from infants to adults. They provide health services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities. Working one-on-one with people, physical therapists help restore overall fitness and health.
While there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, physical therapy may help ease the symptoms of pain. It can also help reduce stiffness and fatigue. Physical therapists use a wide range of resources to support exercise. These resources range from deep tissue massage to ice and heat packs for hydrotherapy. With these tools, physical therapists can help people with fibromyalgia use their muscles, stretch for flexibility, and move their joints through range-of-motions exercises.
The benefit of physical therapy is that is allows a person with fibromyalgia to work closely with a trained professional who can design a fibromyalgia-specific treatment program. The therapist documents your progress and gauges whether you’re practicing good therapy habits, alignment, and movement patterns when doing “homework” or exercises at home. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is for you to learn the specific exercises and then do them daily at home.
The physical therapist may use different types of tools with fibromyalgia patients including:
Aquamed Dry Hydrotherapy
ATM (Acute Therapeutic Movement)
Integrative Dry Needling