The primary symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic pain, resulting from a hypersensitive pain system, where overly sensitive nerve cells transmit pain messages even in the absence of injury or damage. The condition may impact your sleep, mood, memory, thinking and even your bowel and bladder functions.
Constant pain can have a profound negative impact on your overall well-being. It may disrupt your daily life, including your ability to work, study, engage with your family, and enjoy recreational activities.
At this stage, there’s no cure for fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia Physiotherapy may, however, play a role in helping you manage your symptoms.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition in which widespread pain, tenderness, and fatigue, are felt in your muscles, bones, tendons, or ligaments. If you’re living with fibromyalgia, you may find your body is very sensitive to touch and temperature changes.
Unlike pain resulting from stimulation such as trauma, tissue damage, or inflammation, fibromyalgia pain, stiffness, and tenderness are experienced without any detectable cause.
Fibromyalgia Australia estimates that up to 1 million Australians are affected by the condition, which can impact individuals of any age and has a higher prevalence among females.
Common fibromyalgia symptoms include:
- Widespread pain, tenderness and stiffness
- Sensitivity to pain, temperature, smell, noise or light
- Sleep disturbances
- Musculoskeletal stiffness
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Bowel and bladder disturbances
- Stress, depression and anxiety
You may notice your fibromyalgia symptoms can come and go or tend to become more pronounced at specific times. You might find that your symptoms flare up when you’re going through stressful periods, like when you’re dealing with an illness or exerting yourself physically.
Physiotherapy for fibromyalgia aims to help you manage your symptoms, particularly your pain and stiffness. The physiotherapists at Valens Care are here to support you in reducing the impact your condition has on your day-to-day life by designing a treatment plan tailored to you.
Your plan might include a combination of treatments including:
- Pain management techniques- Since pain is the predominant feature of fibromyalgia, pain management techniques will be a central focus in your care. This may include massage, heat or cold therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) or gentle exercise. This could also involve education on how to pace your activity to help you manage flair-ups.
- Exercise and movement- Keeping your body active and strong may help to reduce your pain and fatigue, support better sleep and improve your mood. Exercise will be introduced to your routine slowly and gradually as it’s common to notice an increase in your symptoms to begin with. Your physiotherapist will work with you to slowly ‘pace up’ your activity, as you can tolerate it. Your exercise program may include aerobic exercises, strengthening exercises, endurance training and stretches.
- Mobility and flexibility support- To relieve stiffness and improve your range of motion and mobility you may be provided with targeted movements and stretches.
- Posture and movement correction- Poor posture or incorrect movement patterns may contribute to increased pain and fatigue. Your physiotherapist can work with you to reduce strain on your muscles and joints by improving your posture and body mechanics.
- Education- Your physiotherapists can provide you with education and advice regarding strategies for managing the symptoms of your condition including guidance on, how to pace yourself, stress and fatigue management, and relaxation and energy conservation techniques.
The Valens Care difference
We understand that living with fibromyalgia can impact your physical, and emotional wellbeing.
Our Valens Care physiotherapists are committed to providing you with personalised care and support, aiming to help you reduce and manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Contact Valens Care today to learn more about how our physiotherapists can help you manage your fibromyalgia symptoms.
* All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Valens Care can consult with you regarding your individual health needs.
Arthritis Australia. (2018). Fibromyalgia. https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/types-of-arthritis/fibromyalgia/
Fibromyalgia Australia. (n.d.). What is Fibromyalgia? https://fibromyalgiaaustralia.org.au/patients/what-is-fibromyalgia/
Healthdirect. (2019). Fibromyalgia. www.healthdirect.gov.au/fibromyalgia
Physiopedia. (n.d). Fibromyalgia. www.physio-pedia.com/Fibromyalgia