If you have been experiencing chronic discomfort without a cause for a while, you may have gone to your doctors to discuss the underlying cause. The American College of Rheumatology estimates that around 2-8% of the adult population in the United States suffers from fibromyalgia. However, some studies have reported higher rates, with some estimates suggesting that up to 10% of the population may be affected.
So, if you have fibromyalgia, you are likely looking for relief, and in this article, the benefits of physiotherapy in managing this condition will be explored.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Firstly, for those at the back, so to speak, it is worth talking about what fibromyalgia is.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that presents with chronic pain that affects the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. People who have it report suffering from widespread pain, tenderness, stiffness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Fibromyalgia is considered a central sensitization syndrome, which means that the nervous system becomes hypersensitive and amplifies pain signals.
The exact cause of fibromyalgia is currently not known. However, it is thought to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. People with fibromyalgia often have a family history of the condition and may have experienced physical or emotional trauma. So, when you are looking for a physiotherapist Blaxland, you will want to ensure that they have experience in helping you cope with all of these areas, as the research is pretty detailed on the fact that they are all intertwined. No part of the body functions by itself!
So, if you have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia,
what are the benefits of seeking out help from a physiotherapist?
1. Exercise Prescription
One of the key areas when it comes to managing fibromyalgia is regular exercise. However, for many people with fibromyalgia, the thought of exercise can be daunting. A physiotherapist can prescribe a tailored exercise program appropriate for the individual’s fitness level and specific symptoms. Such programs may include a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching.
2. Pain Management Techniques
Physiotherapists can teach a range of pain management techniques that can be used to help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. These may include gentle massage, hot and cold therapy, and techniques such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).
3. Education and Advice
A physiotherapist can provide education and advice on managing fibromyalgia symptoms, including sleep hygiene, stress management techniques, and how to conserve energy. They can also provide advice on pacing activities to avoid exacerbating symptoms.
4. Posture and Body Mechanics
Many people with fibromyalgia experience pain and discomfort as a result of poor posture and body mechanics. A physiotherapist specializing in fibromyalgia can provide guidance on improving posture and body mechanics to help reduce pain and discomfort.
5. Manual Therapy
Manual therapy techniques can be used to help improve joint mobility and reduce pain and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia. If done properly, this can help with mobility and movement needed to carry out daily tasks, which can be an issue for those who have fibromyalgia.
6. Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
A physiotherapist can incorporate cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques into their treatment approach. This may include teaching relaxation techniques and strategies for coping with stress and anxiety.
As mentioned, many people with fibromyalgia also have a history of psychological issues, so this is a crucial area to look out for when searching for a physiotherapist. If the discomfort is extreme, alongside the trauma, then it may be worth looking into seeking psychotherapy to help you manage more difficult emotions that can cause flares in the condition.
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