Fibromyalgia is a form of generalized muscular pain and fatigue that affects millions of Americans. This condition is confusing and often misunderstood because some of its symptoms may be found in other conditions.

Fibromyalgia mainly affects muscles and their attachments to bones. It is a form of soft tissue or muscular rheumatism that may feel like a joint disease; however, it does not cause deformities of the joint. Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Possible Signs and Symptoms

  1. muscular pain that presents with a pattern of tender points, most often occurring on both sides of the body
  2. fatigue and sleep disturbances
  3. morning stiffness
  4. anxiety or depression
  5. paresthesias
  6. headaches
  7. PMS or dysmenorrheal
  8. irritable bowl or bladder symptoms
  9. sensitivity to heat, cold, or weather changes
  10. dry mouth and/or eyes
  11. fluid retention
  12. family history of similar symptoms
Balance Exercise

Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia are so general and often very similar to those of other medical disorders, many people undergo numerous tests to rule out these conditions before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It is important to see a doctor who is very familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of this condition, such as a rheumatologist or internist, because not all doctors have been trained to recognize this disorder.

Possible Causes or Triggers

  1. illness
  2. emotional trauma
  3. physical trauma
  4. hormonal changes
  5. lack of fitness
  6. inappropriate exercise or poor posture
  7. stress

There is some speculation as to the exact cause of fibromyalgia. Researchers think that many factors may contribute to this condition. Although fibromyalgia is not life-threatening and rarely worsens over time, symptoms may vary in intensity.
Physical therapy treatment has proven to be a source of help during flare-ups and is quite beneficial in helping the patient deal with this condition.

Midwest Physical Therapy Can Provide

  1. a detailed and individualized evaluation
  2. stretching and strengthening program
  3. soft-tissue massage to relieve tender (trigger) points
  4. cardiovascular (aerobic) program
  5. instruction in relaxation techniques
  6. education to help understand and manage fibromyalgia
  7. manual therapy techniques
It is important for people with fibromyalgia to be educated and to understand their treatment. Midwest Physical Therapy can implement and closely monitor a customized treatment program while assuring proper patient education about fibromyalgia. The therapists at Midwest Physical Therapy will also work closely with your physician to provide a comprehensive care program that will fit with your lifestyle and promote general well-being.