Fibromyalgia is primarily a central nervous system disorder that has a primary feature of central sensitization. One of the mechanisms of this is mitochondrial dysfunction, which means (at the cellular level), the body does not produce enough energy. This creates the four hallmark features of fibromyalgia- fatigue, widespread pain, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. People with fibromyalgia often have other symptoms, but these are the four hallmarks. Other symptoms include muscle pain, burning or twitching, depression and anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and numbness in the face, arms, leg, hands, or feet.
Some of the most known risk factors for fibromyalgia include age, gender, family history, trauma, and other disorders like lupus, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Fibromyalgia affects around 5 million adults, 80-90% of the woman. It isn't easy to diagnose because there is overlap with so many other conditions. It is also a condition without a cure. Unfortunately, the cause of fibromyalgia isn't really known. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia affects the way the brain processes pain signals, amplifying the sensation of pain throughout the body. Although there is no definitive cure at this time, there are treatments that can help. Physical therapy is one of them. We will help you understand and manage your pain, reduce your fatigue and improve your function and quality of life.
Improving sleep and exercise are often the two essential areas to make the most significant change. At Rainey Pain & Performance, we have several ways to help with this. One of them is our full-body fibromyalgia stretching and end-range strengthening program that leaves people feeling invigorated.
Increasing flexibility and strengthening muscles through a maintainable exercise routine are important ways physical therapists help reduce fibromyalgia pain. If you deal with the aches and pains of fibromyalgia, the thought of beginning an exercise program may make you cringe. However, it can do you a world of good in the long run.
Stretching increases flexibility and helps tight, stiff muscles loosen up. We will instruct you on the proper way to stretch muscles, tendons, and ligaments. We will educate which low-speed and low-impact activities are best and less stressful on the joints.
We will help you build strength and improve range of motion. We will show you ways to get relief from deep muscle pain and help you make sensible decisions about daily activities will help prevent painful flare-ups.
Since fibromyalgia often comes with disrupted or unrefreshing sleep, we work to improve your sleep. We begin with a detailed physical evaluation, considering your overall wellness. Along the way, we will educate about sleep hygiene. A few helpful tips include going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day so you can reset your biological clock, use your bed only for sleep, training your brain that bed equals sleep, and avoid napping during the day, making you more tired at night. If these tips are not enough, we have a trained doctor in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).
Living with fibromyalgia can be overwhelming and debilitating, but with the right help, it doesn't have to be. Schedule an appointment today with one of our physical therapists, and we will help increase your quality of life.