Can Physical Therapy Help With Fibromyalgia?

In pain management for fibromyalgia, your doctor could recommend the use of over-the-counter and prescription pain medications. However, it is likely that your doctor will refer you for physical therapy treatment. If you are hesitant to undergo physical therapy, here is what you need to know.

What Are the Benefits?

As you are aware, treating the pain from fibromyalgia can be challenging because the cause of the disease is still unknown. Therefore, doctors have to rely on a trial and error approach sometimes to treat the pain. Despite the challenges that can occur with other treatment forms, physical therapy has proven to be relatively successful.

There are a range of therapies that you can be beneficial to you. For instance, deep tissue massages can help with reducing the stiffness and pain that comes with fibromyalgia. Since fibromyalgia can sometimes impact your flexibility and mobility, your therapist can also teach you exercises to do at home to help reduce the occurrences of issues.  

In addition to these benefits, physical therapy can stimulate the release of endorphins. Endorphins act as natural pain relievers and mood enhancers. Pain signals to your spinal cord will also be blocked.  

Which Therapies Are Used?

In addition to the aforementioned therapies, a physical therapist can rely on several other types of therapy to help reduce your symptoms. For instance, electric muscle stimulation is commonly used to help reduce the spasms that occur with fibromyalgia.  

Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, helps with relieving pain. There are different forms of hydrotherapy, including sitting in a whirlpool or targeted exercising in a swimming pool.  

Heat and cold therapy are also used. Cold therapy helps to prevent pain from worsening. Heat therapy focuses on promoting good blood circulation, which can contribute to improved health overall.  

Is Physical Therapy a Lifetime Commitment?

Physical therapy is used as needed. During your first session, the therapist will evaluate your condition, medical history, and any concerns that you have. Once he or she has assessed the information received, the therapist will make a decision regarding how often you should attend therapy. 

If you have concerns about the therapy and number of sessions, share them with your therapist. He or she can make modifications to the treatment if necessary and work with your doctor to fine tune the treatment program.

As with other therapies, keep your doctors informed of any other treatments you are taking outside of physical therapy to avoid any adverse reactions.