Physical Therapy Roles in Treating Fibromyalgia

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Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants to assure you that if you have been fighting the pain of fibromyalgia, you are not alone. Five million people in the United States suffer from fibromyalgia. Symptoms that are associated with this condition such as chronic pain, fatigue, and stiffness. These symptoms are thought to be caused by increased sensitivity of the central nervous system.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are congruent with chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and hypothyroidism. Fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience anxiety, depression, digestive issues, and cognitive and memory problems.

There are no cures or lab tests that detect fibromyalgia. Those who suffer from the condition may feel overwhelmed going from doctor to doctor before they finally receive a diagnosis, much less, relief from their symptoms. Now, the American Physical Therapy Association and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending physical therapy to those seeking relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia. (1)


Fibro 2017


Beginning with Exercise

Many of those with fibromyalgia express that when they are in pain, the last thing they want to do is exercise. However, even a small amount of aerobic excise such as stretching, swimming, or walking can help reduce pain, stiffness and improve your quality of sleep. Physical therapists will help design a personalized exercise program that allows you to start at your own pace, while gradually building muscle strength and endurance. (2)



Understanding a Physical Therapists Role in Treatment

Your physical therapist may give you ice and heat packs, along with deep tissue massages to release scar tissue, and improve blood and oxygen circulation. Research has shown that various types of massage can reduce pain and stiffness, and also ease symptoms of depression and anxiety related to fibromyalgia. (3) 

Therapists may also mobilize your joints to reduce pain, increase flexibility and range of motion. Some patients also experience relief from electric stimulation and paraffin baths.



Managing Your Pain

At Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center, our professional therapists are experienced in treating fibromyalgia. They will not only help you understand you condition, they will teach you how to identify and interpret pain triggers and patterns.


Call Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert physical therapist.


(714) 997-5518

1111 W. Town and Country Rd., Ste. 1

Orange, CA 92868


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