Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, tenderness, sleep, memory, and other cognitive issues. While there is no current cure for fibro, physical therapy can help you manage your symptoms so that you can enjoy a better quality of life. Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy provides treatment options for fibromyalgia that are gentle and effective so that you can find relief from this long-term illness.
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
It is unknown what causes fibromyalgia. Different people can experience different symptoms and potential causes. Currently, research suggests that it stems from issues with your nervous system. Fibromyalgia is not an inflammation, autoimmune, joint, or muscle disorder. Anyone can get fibromyalgia, but it does have a tendency to run in families, so if someone in your family suffers from this lifelong condition, you are at higher risk for developing it.
While exact causes are unknown, there are certain instances that can trigger symptoms. These include:
Women are generally at a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia than men. People who have fibro in their family or who suffer from certain diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, are also at higher risk for developing fibro.
Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia
Symptoms of this condition can vary from person to person, but some of the common symptoms include:
- Widespread pain all over your body
- Muscle stiffness
- Joint pain
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Temperature sensitivity
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty with memory
- Vision problems
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome)
Fibro fog, also known as the fuzzy feeling people with fibromyalgia can get that makes it difficult to concentrate and remember, can sometimes bother them more than the physical symptoms.
How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?
Previously, doctors used to check 18 tender points on your body to diagnose this condition. Now, the main criteria are having widespread pain throughout your body for over 3 months. Doctors will want to rule out any other conditions that can present similar symptoms, such as hypothyroidism, autoimmune disorders, and more. Because there are no lab tests for fibro, it can take a while to diagnose, and it often gets misdiagnosed as other conditions.
Generally, to be diagnosed with this illness, you will need:
- To have been experiencing your symptoms for at least 3 months
- To have no other health condition that could explain the symptoms
Fibro can greatly impact your quality of life. While there is no current cure for it, there are treatment options, such as physical therapy, that can help you manage the symptoms for a better quality of life.
Physical Therapy For Fibromyalgia
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you may cringe at the idea of exercise or other physical therapy treatments and assume that they could make your pain worse. However, the physical therapists here at Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy utilize gentle and effective methods in order to help you find relief.
Physical therapy is one of the best ways to relax your body and improve your mobility. Your physical therapist will generally start with more passive treatments and then start incorporating more active treatments as your symptoms improve. Rest assured, here at Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy, we’re dedicated to providing you with the personalized treatment you need in order to ensure that it is best suited to your specific needs.
Physical therapy treatments for fibromyalgia include:
- Aquatic therapy
- Aerobic exercise
- Group exercise
- Light to moderate intensity strength training
Improving your general health can also improve your symptoms. Physical therapy can improve your overall strength, stamina, and flexibility, as well as relax your muscles so that you are in less pain.