What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that affects the muscle throughout the body and results in widespread muscle pain. The term fibromyalgia comes from the latin “Fibro” which means fiber, “my” stands for muscle and “algia” means pain. Fibromyalgia literally means Muscle Fiber Pain. Those with fibromyalgia describe it as a flu-like symptoms that never go away. Fibromyalgia leaves those who are affected by it exhausted and unable to think clearly at times. Many of those with this disorder have trouble sleeping and often wake up stiff and sore. The symptoms can be debilitating. In fact, roughly one quarter of those affected by fibromyalgia are work disabled. The symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain
- Sleep difficulties
- Brain fog
- Muscle knots, cramping and weakness
- Digestive disorders
- Balance difficulties
What are the Treatments for Fibromyalgia?
There is no known cure for fibromyalgia and many of the medications to reduce the symptoms can have several side effects. But there are many effective non-drug treatments available. These treatments are safe and effective at managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Movement therapy and trigger point treatments are effective ways to manage fibromyalgia. Treatment of fibromyalgia centers on reducing the painful muscle trigger points or “knots” while getting your body moving again.
Movement Therapy for Fibromyalgia
Several of the movement therapies available for fibromyalgia include light aerobics, Tai Chi, and yoga. The movements should be light, gentle, combine stretches, careful strengthening, and relaxation techniques to improve your mind, body and sleep. Yoga is one of the best movement therapies as it combines all of these type of movements into one workout. While there are many poses that are effective. The Hero’s Pose is an excellent yoga pose that stretches and increases the flexibility in the knees, ankles and thighs. It strengthens the arches of the feet and because of the spinal alignment in the pose, the Hero’s Pose improves posture. This all leads to greater body awareness and improved movement patterns which are critical in managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Click here to watch the Hero’s Pose.
Trigger Point Treatments
The painful muscle trigger points that are characterized by fibromyalgia occur due to the muscle fibers tightening resulting in a restriction of blood flow to that part of the muscle. This causes a build- up of toxins in the muscle and through a chemical reaction results in further “knotting” or tightening of the muscle. This is known as the pain-spasm cycle and leads to the chronic painful trigger points.
Massage, myofascial release, and pressure point release are all hands on techniques that can release these trigger points and improve the circulation to the muscle. Click here to learn more about the massage techniques that are available at Flex Physical Therapy. Low level laser therapy such as the 830Laser is another non-invasive way to apply energy to the trigger points and increase the blood flow. The 830Laser has the ability to penetrate up to 2 inches into the body to effectively increase the blood flow and reduce the pain with fibromyalgia. Click here to learn more about the benefits of the 830Laser. Acupuncture, dry needling and trigger point injections are also effective and reducing the painful fibromyalgia trigger points.
Fibromyalgia is a painful, frustrating, and debilitating disorder that often leaves the patient with chronic pain leading to inability to work, socialize, or enjoy life. Depression is also commonly associated with fibromyalgia. If you or someone you care about is suffering from fibromyalgia call us at 1-800-930-8803 as we are experts at assisting our patients in managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Don’t wait. Call now and start living your life with less pain. Next week, I will address several nutritional aids and relaxation techniques which can be effective in managing fibromyalgia.