A number of specific touch therapies are being integrated with conventional treatments, such as physical therapy, to treat Fibromyalgia patients. Physical Therapy (PT), also known as Physiotherapy, was introduced to the US following World War I (1914) to rehabilitate soldiers returning from the war. Medical professionals are recognizing the importance of touch therapies as studies and clinical trials are showing the effectiveness.
Practitioners who specialize in treating chronic pain illnesses agree that a multidisciplinary approach is essential to improve quality of life and support conventional treatments. Physical therapy for FIBROMYALGIA can play an important role in managing chronic pain, fatigue, depressed mood, sleep problems, gastrointestinal distress, poor concentration, restless leg syndrome, anxiety and headaches.
While medications help patients cope with the symptoms of fibromyalgia, physical therapy enables the body to heal and function. Researchers at the Touch Research Institute, University of Miami, have studied adults with fibromyalgia and the effects of massage therapy. The results reported reduced anxiety and uplifted mood immediately after a massage session. Sleep quality improved and other fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain, stiffness and fatigue were relieved as well. Researchers say that massage therapy alters a fibromyalgia patient’s sleep pattern, increases serotonin levels and reduces levels of the chemical messenger for pain.
- What Is Physical Therapy?
- What Is The Purpose Of Physical Therapy For Fibromyalgia Treatment?
- What Are Physical Therapists?
- What Do Physical Therapists Do?
What Is Physical Therapy?
Physical Therapy as fibromyalgia treatment combines passive modalities with therapeutic exercise to rehabilitate the musculoskeletal parts of the body. Passive modalities include heat/cold therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, and joint mobilization. These modalities are not the sole fibromyalgia treatment, but supplement therapeutic exercise. Active therapy, or therapeutic exercise includes stretching, strengthening, and postural modification to rehabilitate the structures of the body.
What Is The Purpose of Physical Therapy for Fibromyalgia Treatment?
The purpose of Physical Therapy is to help the fibromyalgia patient return to an active lifestyle as quickly as possible. Therapy strives to reduce pain; build strength; increase flexibility, range of motion, function; and correct posture. PT is often prescribed as for soft tissue trauma; nerve inflammation/injury; muscle spasms; fractures; post spinal surgery; chronic syndromes, such as Fibromyalgia and arthritis; as well as many other problems. Patient education is an important component in Physical Therapy. FIBROMYALGIA patients learn about proper body mechanics, common disorders and their causes, the benefits of good posture, the importance of physical fitness and its relationship to injury, disease prevention, and overcoming pain syndromes.
What Are Physical Therapists?
Physical Therapists are licensed health care professionals. Prior to practicing, they must obtain either a Bachelors or Masters Degree in Physical Therapy and pass an examination to be licensed. Their clinical training includes the study of anatomy, disease and injury, healing and recovery, Kinesiology (study of movement), and many other therapeutic treatment techniques. Therapists practice in hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, home health care agencies, and privately.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Therapist evaluate the patient’s condition by testing joint motion, muscle strength, cardiovascular function, reflexes, and functional skills. If a physician has referred the patient, the therapist will review the prescription along with the patient’s records. After the necessary information has been gathered, the PT designs a treatment plan to fit the patient’s needs and goals. The Therapist and patient work together as a team toward wellness.
In the next section we will explore the Physical Therapy treatment for Fibromyalgia.