Managing Fibromyalgia with Physiotherapy
Since its recognition as a medical disorder, incidence of fibromyalgia has been slowly increasing and may now be affecting eight percent of the population, most commonly the adult women. With the cause of this condition still to be determined, the main objective in addressing fibromyalgia is management of pain, which characterizes this common disorder. This has rendered the services of a physiotherapist very vital and this is has been performed through various methods that include the following:
Deep Tissue Massage
This form of massage therapy focuses on realigning layers of muscles and connective tissues found deep under the skin to relieve chronic aches and pains. Deep tissue massage aims to break down those bands of painful and rigid tissues in muscles, tendons, and ligaments, allowing the patient pain relief and to regain normal movement. The strokes may be similar to other massages but differs in its slow movement and the deeper pressure applied to affected areas.
Pain Relief Exercises
Also termed as active physical therapy, under this method the physiotherapist guides the sufferer in doing various exercises aimed at managing pain, improving flexibility, and making muscles strong. The patient may have to do strengthening exercises, stretching or flexibility exercises, and even aerobic routines.
Gaining wide acceptance in managing fibromyalgia are water aerobics, which may be called by other names such as aqua exercises, hydro-workouts, and aquatic exercises. This has been favored by many since the resistance offered here is water which greatly reduces risk of injuries such as those associated with high-impact exercises. Routines in water aerobics may appear very similar to those regular exercises with the same results expected. In addition to its safety and effectiveness, being in the water can be a source of fun and enjoyment for the patient.
Electrical Nerve Stimulation/ TENS
While this method of treatment may be generally categorized as electrical nerve stimulation, the most popular device for this disorder is the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This type of therapy involves the use of low-voltage electrical current with two electrodes attached to the skin. These electrodes which are connected to a small device are placed in areas where pain is being felt by the patient.
Originally meant to take pictures using high-frequency sound waves, this technique has found great application in pain management. High-level sound waves are directed to affected muscles to bring pain relief, address any inflammations, and to help in healing tissues.
Other Forms of Therapies
In addition to those mentioned above, there are several forms of therapies that have been used to manage fibromyalgia such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and other methods considered as complementary and alternative therapies (CAT). For those suffering from fibromyalgia, you may talk to your healthcare provider to learn about these options or visit physiotherapy clinics to get the necessary information.