Fibromyalgia is a very complex condition which is currently undergoing a lot of research so we as health care professionals can understand it better. In essence it’s a chronic pain condition, generally diagnosed by a Rheumatologist and looked after under a multidisciplinary approach of consultant, GP and Physiotherapist.
If put into simple terms, it is diagnosed by a process of elimination. Your GP will test and look for a number of different health conditions which may be causing your symptoms. You may be sent for blood tests, scans and/or X-rays. Only if these come back as negative would Fibromyalgia be considered (please note that is a very basic description of how a diagnosis is made and each case is individual).
Clinical experience and evidence suggests the condition affects more women than men and generally aged 40+, though younger people are investigated and diagnosed. General symptoms include extreme sensitivity to pain and it is not uncommon for people to experience severe fatigue, anxiety, depression, headaches, poor sleep and IBS to name a few of the associated health conditions.
The good news about Fibromyalgia though is it is not deforming in nature (your joints will not change shape) and the condition on its own is not life threatening, there are no recorded deaths from Fibromyalgia. It is a manageable health condition and many people who are diagnosed with it live perfectly normal lives.
HOW CAN PHYSIOTHERAPY HELP?
Here at Choice Physio Limited our Senior Physiotherapist Helen has a keen interest in Fibromyalgia. Each case is taken on an individual basis and treatment is tailored to you as an individual. Alongside advice from your GP, useful Physiotherapy techniques to help with this condition can include: massage, acupuncture, relaxation techniques, exercise education, activity modification for work and at home and advice on ice and heat home management. We can also have discussions with your GP or consultant to discuss your case and case history, making sure you have the best possible outcomes. If you are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia or think you may have the condition and would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact us on 01279 882518
Reference/Useful books: Living with Fibromyalgia, Christine Craggs Hinton