Fibromyalgia is a painful and disheartening condition that can make daily life difficult. Some doctors may prescribe antidepressants, but exercise and increased physical activity are the current best strategies to reduce pain. How can you maintain a steady level of physical activity with the fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia? Physical therapy Raleigh NC may be able to help.
First, it helps to understand the nature of fibromyalgia. Doctors are still unsure of the root cause of this condition, but understanding and awareness of fibromyalgia have grown significantly over the last decade.
Fibromyalgia often begins after trauma or an accident and worsens over time. Unlike a conventional physical injury, fibromyalgia affects the body’s nerves. Doctors believe it may be caused by a shift in how the brain processes stress and pain.
There are psychological components to fibromyalgia that differentiate it from other chronic pain conditions. This can make over-the-counter pain medications and even strong opioid painkillers less effective, while physical activity and stress-relieving exercises can often be more effective.
Reduce Back Pain and Stiffness
Fibromyalgia pain often spreads across the shoulders, back and neck. These are the areas of the body that most readily tighten in response to stress. Physical therapy can help relax these muscles, providing both physical and mental health benefits.
Some gentle exercises a physical therapist may use for fibromyalgia back pain include:
- Slow and light twisting motions
- Supported neck rolls from side to side
- Deep breaths that gently move the upper back
- Back and neck massage
Stiffness and tension increase pain from fibromyalgia, so a physical therapist gives you techniques to relax. Physical therapist massage near me can give a reprieve from back pain.
In addition to stretching and massage, aerobic exercise is an important part of fibromyalgia pain and fatigue management. Exercise can feel daunting with fibromyalgia, but a physical therapist can help you start with manageable, short exercises such as a ten-minute fast walk. Aquatic exercise is another option that reduces strain on joints while increasing heart rate. Many patients are surprised by the lasting positive effects of short bursts of exercise on their fibromyalgia symptoms.
Benefits of Physical Therapy
The primary benefit of physical therapy for fibromyalgia is reduced pain levels. As you learn techniques to relax tight and painful muscles and stick to an exercise routine, daily tasks may become easier. The possibility of deeper sleep can further reduce symptoms.
However, there are more benefits than just pain reduction. Part of fibromyalgia treatment is changing the ways you personally respond to pain. Worrying at the first sign of fibromyalgia pain can worsen symptoms while relaxing can ease them. The mental health symptoms of fibromyalgia, such as anxiety and low mood, can also improve through regular visits and neck physical therapy.
Fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to live with. Exercise is an important treatment, but it can be daunting because of your symptoms. Fibromyalgia also tends to coexist with other painful conditions such as IBS and migranes. An expert physical therapist takes all of your needs into consideration to develop a unique plan for your fibromyalgia.