Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Women are much more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
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. In addition to exercise, physical therapists use a wide range of resources -- 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-motion exercises.
The benefit of physical therapy at Innovative Rehab Solutions is that it 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, alignments, 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.