Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that manifests itself among other things in widespread pain and tenderness, fatigue, weakness in the limbs, poor sleep and low grade fever. A person is believed to have fibromyalgia if he has tenderness at certain trigger point sites along with the above symptoms. Of unknown origin, it affects more women than men and has no known cure. Physiotherapists are trained to relieve pain and inflammation and to prescribe appropriate strengthening exercises, therefore physiotherapy is one of the main components of any fibromyalgia treatment programme.
Because fibromyalgia encompasses such a broad spectrum of problems, physiotherapy treatment needs to be tailored to each individual need. For example, in addition to the symptoms listed above, a person may complain of headaches, memory loss, inability to focus and even temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder - (pain in the head, face and jaw). Depression and anxiety are also major symptoms.
Physiotherapists may use a wide variety of treatment techniques including joint mobilisation, acupuncture, soft tissue massage and heat therapy to name a few, to relax the muscles, loosen stiff joints, improve circulation and control pain and inflammation.
Stretching increases flexibility and reduces pain associated with stiff muscles and joints. Stretching can take place in the form of passive stretches and mobilisation performed by the physiotherapist or a home exercise stretching programme Aerobic activities that raise the heart rate help to improve circulation, reduce pain and increase energy and the body’s endorphin levels – key factors in eliminating fatigue and depression. Physiotherapists are experienced in exercise prescription and we provide you with a safe and effective graded low-impact aerobic exercise programme.
In the beginning of the programme, you may experience some discomfort as your body tries to adjust to the new regimen, but with continued treatment and exercise, your pain levels should decrease and you should have more energy. You should come away from the programme feeling like a new person! For effective treatment of fibromyalgia in Vancouver, call us at Vancouver Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic.
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