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Fibromyalgia is a condition characterised by chronic widespread body pains and increased responsiveness to pressure. Women are at a higher risk of suffering from this disorder than men. Fibromyalgia can be treated with physiotherapy, pharmacotherapy and combined efforts of physician and the patient.
Some of the symptoms that characterize this disorder are:
- Pain: Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain that has no apparent reason. It can affect different parts of the body and presents itself in different ways. Some people may experience a stabbing pain while others complain of a persistent dull ache. This pain may be affected by climate changes or stressful situations. There is reduced threshold to pain, because of certain chemical ( neurotransmitters) abnormalities in brain. Pain is generalized, felt above and below the waist, right and left-side of body, arms, legs, neck and back.
- Abnormal Sensitivity: Fibromyalgia patients are extremely sensitive to environmental changes that involve sight, sound and smell. For example, cigarette smoke can make a fibromyalgia patient extremely nauseous while loud music can give the person an instant headache. Lights that are brighter than normal can also make such a person feel uncomfortable. Patients have an abnormal sensitivity to pain, which leads to generalized aching of the body and tender points.
- Muscle & Joint Stiffness: Fibromyalgia patients often experience stiff muscles and joints without any form of strenuous activity or other reason. This may be localised to one group of muscles or affect the whole body. For some patients, this pain is worse in the morning or when sitting for extended periods of time. However, moving around does not provide any significant relief.
- Chronic fatigue and exhaustion: There are two main reasons for a fibromyalgia patient to complain of tiredness. Firstly, the condition itself drains a person of energy even without overexerting themselves. Secondly, the pain and joint stiffness can hamper a person’s sleep and lead to sleep deprivation. Over time, this can become a vicious cycle of tiredness and insomnia. Chronic fatigue also affects a person’s immune system causing his or her energy levels to drop.
- Cognitive impairments: Fibromyalgia patients also complain of a compromised short term memory. They often face difficulties recalling names of people they have recently met or other newly acquired information. These people may also have trouble concentrating on tasks for extended periods of time and experience mental sluggishness also known as fibro-fog.
- Irritable bowel syndrome: Bowel disturbance is another common symptom of this disease. Passing stool may become difficult due to a combination of pain and muscle stiffness. With time, this problem can worsen unless addressed with laxatives. However, an over-dependence on laxatives can lead to further problems.
- Somatic Symptoms: Apart from pain, patient experiences unrefreshing sleep and fatigue throughout the day. Other associated features can be depression, abdominal cramps, chest pain, tingling.
- Lab Tests: Fibromyalgia is a clinical diagnosis. There are no definite laboratory tests. In fact, most conducted tests will turn out to be normal.
- Treatment: Foremost important is an education of patient and caregivers, regarding nature of the disease. The patient needs to indulge in recreational activities and undergo supervised physiotherapy. There are potent medicines to correct the chemical imbalance in the body thereby increasing the pain threshold and leading to better quality of life.
Sir my elbow joint ilke pain. This is happened when I am thrown a ball. Plzz suggest me proper way to find relief for it.
My daughter-in-law age 36 had a fall while skiing on vacation and twisted her knee. She is very slim. Please suggest home remedies and physiotherapy exercises.
Sir, my son is 10 years old. He was playing football and get elbow injury. It is swollen and badly hit 4 days ago. Also blood clotting on hand. Please tell me what should I do?
Dear doctor, I am 32 years old female. From past few months i'm having very bad bone pain. My knees, legs, ankle, back, shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers in fact everything is paining very bad.
Hi, I am suffering from spondylosis due this that extreme hand and neck pain persist. Suggest me the possible solutions.
I am student of class 9th. After come back from school .my body feel too much pain. Please help me e.
Hi, my father had a nondisplaced posteromedial fragment. For which he had plaster for 45 days. But he still has pain in the knee. It has been 21 days since the plaster was removed. What should be done?
I am having pain around left knee whenever I try to put load on the legs or while straightening them.
Mild to serious pain or uneasiness in the lower back region is known as lumbago or lower back pain. The pain might be (A) acute (sudden and extreme) or (B) chronic, if it has lasted over three months. People who do a lot of physical exertion are often affected by it. Also, back pain may occur as you age.
Physiotherapy is often tried as a first solution to persistent lower back pain. Most doctors advise a patient of back pain for a four-week session as a conservative approach before pursuing aggressive treatment options such as surgery. In most cases, physiotherapy brings relief from back pain in as early as two to three sessions. A four week physiotherapy programme ensures that the underlying cause of back pain is well-addressed and you don’t get the back pain all over again.
The motive behind physiotherapy is to reduce inflammation, pain and increased function of the back. Physiotherapy also teaches a patient certain good practices in order to negate the possibility of getting the pain back.
1. Passive Therapy: This is a form of physiotherapy that is usually used as first phase of pain treatment includes application of ice packs, electrical stimulation and heat application. These are the very first steps taken for immediate pain relief, before moving to routine physiotherapy that involves following an exercise schedule.
2. Active Therapy: Active physiotherapy which is usually Phase two of your treatment includes undertaking of specific exercise schedule and certain stretching activities. This approach includes exercise therapy mostly done to rehabilitate the back muscles and spinal cord. The exact schedule is decided by the physiotherapist, depending on the location and duration of pain.
How Physiotherapy works for back pain?
A Physiotherapist will usually use a cocktail of the following after a thorough assessment of your pain, its location, cause and involved muscles and nerves:
1. Strengthening Exercises For Back Pain: Certain prescribed exercises such as lumbar stabilization or other exercises should be done for about fifteen to twenty minutes on a regular basis to strengthen your back muscles. These strengthen your core muscles and help in lower back pain as well. These can help in relieving pain if done right. This is why you should get directions from professionals or qualified physical therapists.
2. Stretching Exercises For Back Pain: It is advised to stretch your hamstring muscles every now and then if you suffer from back pain. It is a very simple form of stretching but you may forget to do it every day. This is why you should schedule your exercises and adhere to the schedule. Incorporate it into your daily routine. There may be other stretches that you can look into or consult your physical therapist to advise you on.
3. Specialised Techniques: Sometimes, physiotherapist may use a combination of special techniques like manual therapy, neuro-dynamic techniques to ease your nerves and muscles in the pain-affected area.
4. Heat and Cold Therapy: It is one of the most common types of therapy that is used and is mostly used towards the initial period of pain. While some may find heat therapy more useful, others may resort to cold therapies. Sometimes, people use alternate therapy. This therapy is recommended to be performed once every two hours.