Fibromyalgia: The Pain Is Real

“Fibromyalgia is like having a hangover, only without the party.” – Unknown

With its generalized symptoms of nerve pain, fatigue and digestive issues, fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose. Worse, some professionals doubt the existence of the condition, leaving sufferers frustrated with insinuations that the very real suffering is “all in their heads.” Heck, even Lady Gaga and Morgan Freeman have struggled with the doubters after announcing their battles with fibromyalgia.

One of the great difficulties of treating fibromyalgia is that the condition can lead to a wide array of physical symptoms, such as tender points around the neck and shoulders, stiff muscles, and fatigue. The condition can be made worse when sufferers shy away from exercise and other forms of movement due to the chronic pain they experience.

In my experience, physical therapy and even light exercise can help reduce pain and alleviate the mental stress that comes with fibromyalgia. It only makes sense — our bodies were made for motion. Regular low-impact exercise such as swimming or walking can help reduce stiffness and prevent other triggers that may worsen your pain.

Other treatments that can help:

  • Range of motion exercises. These improve strength and flexibility to make it easier for you to move and reduce stress on your joints.
  • Passive treatments. Physical therapists can use hot and cold treatments, deep tissue massage, hydrotherapy, and other treatments to help you relax your muscles and prevent painful muscle spasms.

The right treatment plan can help you sustainably and effectively treat your pain. If you’d like to find out more about treating fibromyalgia, we invite you to contact our clinic. Whatever you do, I urge you to find ways to work in short walks or other low-impact exercise to your regular routine as the motion (and the beauty of the outdoors this time of year) can be great medicine.

McKenzie Sports Physical Therapy
3425 N Conrad St.

About Chris McKenzie 4 Articles
Dr. Chris McKenzie is a board-certified sports and orthopedic physical therapist. In more than 10 years of practice, he has helped thousands of athletes achieve their full potential who are now playing in elite college programs, with professional teams and for the US Olympic team. He has also been an adjunct professor at Drexel University.

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