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Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that is often difficult to diagnose and unfortunately
affects almost 5 million people in the United States, where 80% to 90% are
Fibromyalgia usually is diagnosed in adults between the ages of
30 and 50, but the symptoms—such as widespread chronic pain and
fatigue—can show up earlier.
Although there is no definitive cure at this time, there are treatments that can help. Our senior physiotherapist can help you:
- Understand and manage your pain
- Reduce your fatigue
- Improve your function and quality of life
What is Fibromyalgia?
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it's thought to be due to
changes in how our nervous system experiences, understands and interprets pain.
It might be triggered
- or major emotional stress
it may develop gradually over time
Also, individuals who have health conditions such as
rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosis, or ankylosing
spondylitis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.
Signs and Symptoms
Fibromyalgia isn't "just" a condition; it's really a complicated and complex syndrome
involving many different signs and symptoms.
- Widespread pain, often a dull achiness, on both sides of the body above and below the waist
- Spots on your head, neck, chest, shoulders, elbows, hips, or knees
that are tender to a firm touch; these “tender points” may move around
or come and go
- Muscle stiffness, especially in the morning
- Thinking and memory problems
- Fatigue (sometimes misdiagnosed or even has chronic fatigue syndrome as well)
- Pain or cramps in the abdomen or pelvis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Irritable bladder syndrome
- Difficulty sleeping or getting back into sleep; waking unrefreshed
- Temporomandibular (jaw joint) pain
- Numbness or tingling
Often, stress can aggravate symptoms too.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Because there are no blood tests, x-rays, or muscle biopsies that can
be used to diagnose fibromyalgia, you’ll need to work closely with your doctors to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
The reason is because there are really many health conditions
that can cause pain and fatigue, so it's important to have a thorough medical
examination to rule out conditions other than fibromyalgia, such as
- rheumatologic diseases
- infectious diseases
- Lyme disease
- metabolic disease
- or side effects due to medication
Once other conditions have been ruled out, a diagnosis is made based
on key symptoms—extreme fatigue, pain in multiple "tender points"
(points that are tender to touch and that move around), trouble
sleeping, anxiety, and memory problems.
Our senior physiotherapist can
identify fibromyalgia while performing a routine examination and taking
your health history. We will pay close attention to the
pattern of your symptoms.
For instance, there are 18 possible tender
points, and the more tender points you have, the more likely you have
fibromyalgia. We may refer you to a rheumatologist, a
physician who specializes in arthritis, for medical care that includes
how our senior physiotherapists can help
Living with fibromyalgia can be very challenging.
Your pain and other
symptoms might take different forms from day-to-day. If you avoid
activity because of pain, your overall physical fitness might
decrease and that comes with a different set of health problems.
Extensive research supports the use of education, aerobic exercise,
and strengthening exercise to help improve fibromyalgia. Usually (and naturally) the fear of
pain often keeps people from beginning an exercise program.
We will teach you how to interpret pain signals—and how
to manage and decrease your symptoms—through a customized exercise
Help You Take Control Through Information
Research shows that people who are knowledgeable about their health
- have more confidence
- can cope better with their condition
- and are more likely to get "back in the swing"
We can explain how fibromyalgia affects the way your body perceives and
responds to pain and how you can start to take control of the pain,
rather than the pain controlling you. We also have evidence to support
that knowledge is power, as it pertains to managing pain.
We also can provide information on local support groups, exercise programs, and self-help programs.
Manage Your Symptoms Through Exercise
Regular, moderate exercise is an important part of managing
Reducing body mass index (weight loss) can actually reduce the risk of
Research has shown that the following treatments can decrease pain
and improve function, general health, and sleep in people with
- Aerobic conditioning
- Aquatic exercise
- Strengthening exercise
- Tai chi
- Deep breathing
- Recreational activities
- Manual therapy
We will design an exercise program that’s right
for you. To ensure your success, the therapist will show you how to:
- Start slow.
- Pace yourself.
- Set realistic goals for exercise and physical activity.
- Modify your program in times of stress.
We can help you improve not only your fitness,
but your quality of life by designing a program of aerobic exercise,
which trains your heart and lungs as well as your muscles.
exercises include walking briskly (you can talk but you need to take
deep breaths), bicycling, swimming, and using a stair-climbing or
If you have severe symptoms, we will work with
you to gradually increase your overall activity level and your tolerance
for exercise, starting you off with exercises that you are able to
perform for short periods (eg, 10 minutes), and then gradually building
up your tolerance for longer exercise.
Even short, 10-minute exercise
sessions done 2 or 3 times per day can improve your strength and
increase your endurance. If you have milder symptoms, we
might focus on strengthening your muscles or increasing your
cardiovascular fitness. We might recommend aquatic exercise
in a pool to help reduce stiffness and pain while you exercise.
Even if you start out slowly, you are likely to have more pain as a
result of increasing your activity. We will prepare
you by teaching you techniques that you can use at home, such as
relaxation techniques and stretching exercises.
You might have other conditions in addition to fibromyalgia, such as
These conditions can make
exercise more difficult for you.
We are uniquely
trained to individualize treatment for those conditions, taking into
consideration the effect that they might have on your fibromyalgia
symptoms and on your exercise ability.
You may be prescribed medications that target brain chemicals that
are responsible for the way your body deals with pain. We also take into account the effects that medications may have
on your movement and exercise ability.
Improve Your Range of Motion
Our senior physiotherapists may use manual therapy techniques to move your joints
while you are relaxed to help improve your joint motion. These
techniques are combined with exercise, stretching, and movements that you control.
Use Special Techniques
Research indicates that the best results are likely to come from
combining a variety of treatments. Appropriate medications, exercise,
and "mind-body techniques" can work together to help you manage your
Some techniques, such as meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy,
can change your responses to pain and promote relaxation. We also are educated and experienced in how to recognize
behaviors that may interfere with recovery of function, and often refer
patients to other health care professionals who can help them overcome
We might use biofeedback to help you control
muscle tension and decrease pain, using a device that provides you with
information about the amount of tension in your muscles. We
place electrodes on your skin with a soft gel, and these electrodes
record muscle tension while explaining how you can relieve
We also can show you how to set a routine time for
sleeping and waking to allow for good restorative sleep. We
will discourage you from sleeping in the daytime, as that can throw off
your sleep cycle.
Reduce Your Pain
To reduce your pain, we may select from a number of treatments:
- We may use pressure on specific areas of the muscle,
followed by stretching or contracting your muscles, to relieve pain and
make the muscles more flexible. We also might use manual
therapy techniques to help relieve pain in your muscles and other
connective tissues (the material between the cells of the body that
support the organs and other tissues).
- We may use dry needling to
relieve your pain by inserting very fine wire-like needles into the
painful areas of the muscle.
- Massage therapy can be used to increase blood flow to the tissues
and promote muscle relaxation to decrease muscle pain and stiffness, and
break up scar tissue.
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book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)
Phoenix Rehab Physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
See all the conditions our principal physiotherapists treat.
HAND THERAPY & CUSTOMIZED SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to
- manage and decrease hand pains
- improve range of motion, strength and dexterity
- increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
REFORMER CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility and breathing.
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
- Cupping TCM
- Auricular Therapy TCM
- Herbal TCM Medicine & Supplementation
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and shorten downtime / recovery period required.
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.
Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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book an appointment today
(or check your pains / injuries)
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