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Fight Fibromyalgia Pain With Physical Therapy

Fight Fibromyalgia Pain With Physical Therapy

Our hectic lifestyles can take a heavy toll on our body and fibromyalgia is evidence for it. The disease which invokes acute pain in 9 paired tender points in the body is observed in around 2% of the general population and can affect anyone between the ages of 20-50 years. A major cause of this acute pain is depression and stress according to Dr. Frederick Wolfe, a researcher credited with its discovery, making a large part of the urban population prone to it. Though there is no definite cure for the disease, the pain associated with it can be effectively managed in adults and children through physical therapy and associated techniques.

How physical therapy can help

There is no single best treatment therapy for fibromyalgia but physical therapy and exercise therapy can significantly reduce symptoms making it easy for patients to go about daily activities. Physical therapists will create a personalised treatment plan which focuses on an individual’s specific needs as per evaluation. Treatment under the supervision of a physical therapist will involve performance tracking, gauging alignments, movement patterns and self-supervised exercises at home. Physical Therapy and/or Exercise Therapy is responsible for restoring normal function, improving mobility, relieving pain and preventing further aggravation of the disease. Fibromyalgia patients can easily indulge in physical activity without triggering pain, fatigue or any other discomfort.

Physical therapy techniques

Along with chronic and widespread pain, Fibromyalgia is also responsible for various other discomforts such as disturbed sleep pattern, stiffness, fatigue and psychological distress. Other treatment techniques used for fibromyalgia are more focussed on suppressing the symptoms whereas physical therapy teaches patients to manage the disease and work around it.

Aerobic Exercises

These exercises include low-impact and low-speed activities such as stationary bicycle and elliptical machines which are less stressful on the joint and increase endurance levels. These exercises improve fitness and sleeping habits of patients.

Hydro / Aqua Therapy

This is the most effective treatment for fibromyalgia but it is also very costly. The treatment involves a specialised pool which has warm water as patients have cold sensitivities. The pools are so designed that the air inside is also heated which prevents patients from getting aches and chills. Aquatic exercises have been proved to benefit patients as they combine cardiovascular exercises with resistance training. Though aqua therapy is ideal for fibromyalgia patients, the specialised pool makes it expensive, limiting its reach.


Stretching exercises are carried on with assistive equipment to increase patient’s flexibility and loosening stiff muscles. The intensity of these stretching activities increases depending on an individual’s progress.


Massages are included in the treatment plan to provide musculoskeletal relaxation through hand manoeuvres. Deep tissue relaxation reduces pain and relieves patients of fibromyalgia symptoms.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)

TENS involves using electric current as a stimulant for nerve excitation. The purpose of this stimulation is to provide therapeutic relief and treat pain. The equipment consists of leads which are applied to the body and are connected to two or more electrodes.

Living with fibromyalgia is difficult but physiotherapy and exercise therapy can help you manage it with a well balanced treatment program.