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How Physical Therapy Can Help Fibromyalgia

Dec 28, 2023
How Physical Therapy Can Help Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia affects millions of people, causing widespread pain that can be difficult to relieve. Fortunately, physical therapy can help. If you have fibromyalgia, here’s how physical therapy could help you feel better.

Millions of Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain, along with symptoms like fatigue, memory problems, headaches, and sleep disturbances. Because fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat with traditional therapies, like pain medication, many people who have the condition also suffer from depression and anxiety.

At Metro Spine PC, our team helps patients in Oxon Hill and Clinton, Maryland, and Washington, DC, manage their fibromyalgia symptoms with custom physical therapy plans tailored to their symptoms, their lifestyles, and other individual factors. If you have fibromyalgia, here’s how physical therapy could help you.

Quick facts about fibromyalgia

Although researchers don’t know the exact cause of fibromyalgia, what they do know is that fibromyalgia appears to be a disorder that affects the way we process and regulate pain signals. People with fibromyalgia have persistent pain in their muscles and soft tissues, even though there is no evidence of inflamed, swollen, injured, or infected tissue.

Even though fibromyalgia isn’t caused by a direct tissue injury, it can be triggered by a previous injury or other types of physical or emotional stress. Researchers think prior tissue injury results in exaggerated and overactive pain responses that persist even after the initial injury heals.

What’s more, fibromyalgia pain doesn’t always occur at the site of an earlier injury but instead can be widespread and affect many parts of your body. If you have fibromyalgia, even a minor bump or pain stimulus can result in significant pain and discomfort because of that abnormal pain response.

Benefits of physical therapy

Because the underlying source of fibromyalgia pain isn’t well understood, it’s difficult to treat it using standard therapies. Physical therapy can be an excellent solution for people with fibromyalgia because it features a range of treatments that can be tailored to each person’s unique needs.

Decreased pain

One of the biggest benefits of physical therapy is its effectiveness in reducing pain and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia. Our team uses a variety of techniques, like soft-tissue manipulation, spinal manipulation, and joint mobilization, along with ultrasound technology to provide deep-tissue pain relief. Ongoing visits with our team ensure your therapy remains on track and focused on your evolving needs.

Reduced inflammation

Even though fibromyalgia doesn’t cause inflammation, the pain and stiffness it causes can alter the way you move. Over time, those changes in movement can put excess strain on muscles and joints, leading to irritation and inflammation. Physical therapy improves circulation to decrease inflammation and remove toxic byproducts.

Better mobility

Many people with fibromyalgia find their pain and stiffness interfere with their activities. Physical therapy helps mobilize your joints and keep them flexible, so you can move without painful symptoms.

Improved stress reaction

Fibromyalgia doesn’t just cause physical symptoms. It affects your emotional well-being, too. Physical therapy uses special exercises to keep you active, promoting the release of hormones that help elevate your mood, so you can manage stress and cope with your symptoms more effectively.

Greater empowerment

The painful symptoms of fibromyalgia can make you feel helpless sometimes, especially when it affects your ability to socialize or take part in activities you enjoy. By learning home exercises and other techniques to help manage your symptoms, you can play a more proactive role in your care and your overall health and well-being, too.

Find relief for your fibromyalgia symptoms

In addition to on-site physical therapy, our team teaches you exercises you can do at home, so you can maintain your results over time. To learn how we can help you relieve your chronic fibromyalgia symptoms. request an appointment online or by phone with our team at Metro Spine PC in Oxon Hill and Clinton, Maryland, or Washington, DC, today.