Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by a heightened sense of pain all over the body. The type of pain is comparable to arthritic or severe muscular pain and is usually accompanied by extreme fatigue. However, fibromyalgia does not cause any noticeable tissue injury and the condition does not progress over time. Individuals suffering from fibromyalgia are sometimes met with disbelief and can suffer mental strain as a result.
The cause of fibromyalgia is largely unknown though it has been attributed to an inability of the central nervous system to process pain. It usually occurs following an illness, injury or stress, but may also occur spontaneously. Genetics and hereditary factors could also play a role in increasing the risk of fibromyalgia. Women are more affected than men forming 75%-90% of all fibromyalgia sufferers. Though it is commonly seen after middle age, children can also be affected.
Fibromyalgia may be associated with headaches, muscle stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, difficulty sleeping, cognitive problems and depression. Pain frequently involves certain parts of the body called trigger points.
It is not easy to diagnose fibromyalgia and the condition has no cure but physical therapy can greatly reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Therapy can help relieve pain and fatigue, improve mobility and restore function. Various treatments such as exercise, deep tissue massage, moist heat, cold packs and hydrotherapy can help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
A therapist usually works one-on-one with you and guides therapy, correcting your movement patterns and alignment when necessary. Your progress is documented and treatment adjusted to help you reach your goals.