Healthy Blog

Fibromyalgia Treatments – How Physiotherapy Reduces Pain & Muscle Stiffness

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Recent studies show that physiotherapy can provide immediate relief to most fibromyalgia syndrome patients. This relief appears to increase with continued treatment sessions. A study performed in Norway found that participants with fibromyalgia that were treated with physiotherapy reported significant decreases in:

  • pain
  • tender points
  • muscle stiffness

Participants also reported less muscle fatigue and increased physical mobility.

Fibromyalgia syndrome can have a number of negative effects on your physical body. It can leave you feeling stiff, weak, and sometimes even physically immobile. If you are suffering from painful fibromyalgia symptoms, physiotherapy might be just the treatment you have been looking for.

Physiotherapy is a medically-based approach to treatment that can help to restore your muscle strength, coordination, and range of motion. Many fibromyalgia sufferers rely on physiotherapy to help improve their physical mobility and overall quality of life.

Who Can Physiotherapy Help?

Physiotherapy can help a variety of people with different physical injuries. People who often seek treatment from physiotherapists include:

  • those with chronic illnesses, like multiple scchronic fatigue syndrome
  • those who have suffered from accident trauma
  • those recovering from surgery
  • those recovering from neurological injury

Types of Treatments

Based on your assessment, there are a number of different types of treatments that your physical therapist can perform to help improve your physical mobility:

  • Manual Treatments: Manual treatments are hands-on therapies used to increase range of motion and decrease pain and swelling. Tissue and muscle massage along with stretching exercises are commonly-used manual treatments.
  • Physical Treatments: Physical treatments help to increase muscle and joint flexibility while decreasing swelling and encouraging wounds to heal. Common physical treatments include the use of whirlpool or water therapy or the use of deep heating with hot packs or paraffin waxing.

They can perform a wide variety of physical treatments to help improve your muscle strength, joint function, and overall mobility. Your physiotherapist will choose different exercise techniques depending upon the type of injuries you are experiencing, and, from this, will create a personal treatment program to be carried out at home or at the treatment facility.

She will also spend about thirty minutes or so taking your medical history and performing a physical exam. During the physical exam, your physiotherapist will examine your:

  • gait
  • posture
  • joint flexibility and range of motion
  • muscle strength
  • reflexes

What To Expect After Treatment

Treatment sessions tend to last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or more. Expect to feel a little sore afterwards; after all, your muscles and joints are being challenged more than usual. This pain should go away within a day or two, and you should begin to feel improvements in muscle strength and range of motion. Physiotherapy treatments are typically ongoing, and you may need to continue therapy for six months or more to achieve long term benefits.