A Doctor's First Defense

Some types of fibromyalgia physical therapy can be very effective if done right. It's also one of the first treatment options that you're doctor may suggest if medication and exercise are not enough. I've gone to many different physicians and specialists looking for answers over the years, and this was usually the first line of defense they've suggested.

This type of treatment usually consists of a combination of routines designed to promote strength and flexibility. It focuses not only on the problem areas, but also in surrounding muscles that help stabilize these specific locations as well.

fibromyalgia physical therapy, woman using exercise ball and resistance bands

Many tools are used to accomplish this such as pedal exercisers, resistance exercise bands, treadmills, exercise balls, hand or cable weights, hydrotherapy, and electronic muscle stimulation machines. These are also used in combination with stretching exercises and massage. Depending on how much experience your therapist has with fibromyalgia, you may have to educate them on your limits and sensitivities.

I've found that depending on the severity of your symptoms, many of the exercise routines used are very challenging unless you use a specifically designed fibromyalgia physical therapy program. These programs allow gentle stretching and massage for the first few weeks or months which can help you prepare for more challenging activities.

Set Your Own Pace

Some of you may respond much sooner, but don't let anyone force you to do any exercises that you don't feel comfortable with. Believe me; I've learned this lesson the hard way. I sometimes felt I was being too sensitive to my therapist’s demands, but because I did too much too fast, I would take two steps back and aggravate my already fatigued and sore muscles.

This type of therapy can be very effective for people living with fibromyalgia, but it's very important that you work with a team of therapists that are familiar with this illness. They're very aware of the ups and downs related to coping with this condition. If you feel that the program you're on is too aggressive, then don’t be afraid to speak up and set your own pace.

You may also want to explore other less demanding types of programs such as tai chi

or pool exercises. These are very low impact and have received stellar reviews.

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