How fibromyalgia pain management with physical therapy reduces your need for medication
Typically, doctors rely on medication to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia. This means that fibromyalgia patients can end up taking multiple medications. In turn, this exposes them to the many side effects of such medications.
Researchers estimate that up to 12 million Americans have fibromyalgia. Fortunately, these patients can find natural fibromyalgia treatment options. One option that can be used for fibromyalgia pain management is physical therapy. Additionally, physical therapy can be used to reduce the number of medications you’re taking for fibromyalgia.
Four ways physical therapy-based fibromyalgia pain management reduces medication usage
Fibromyalgia patients often don’t move around much; this lack of movement can lead to even more pain and fatigue and loss of mobility of the fascia, which has a lot of nerve endings in it. Fibromyalgia pain management from a physical therapist can help break this cycle. By doing so, it can also help decrease your dependence on medication.
Physical therapy can reduce medication dependence in four specific ways:
- Reducing pain — A National Health Interview Survey reveals that 87% of fibromyalgia patients have pain on most or all days. Physical therapists can help you develop a pain management program designed to decrease pain. One key to such a program is to get you moving more. Therapists can create an exercise program for you to accomplish this goal. Such plans often include gentle cardio, like treadmill walking, and strength training. A review of 22 medical studies on strength training for fibromyalgia reported that all the studies reported it helped reduce patients’ pain. Less pain means patients are less likely to require as much pain medication.
- Improving ability to sleep — Physical therapist-created exercise plans can also improve fibromyalgia patients’ ability to sleep. Pain often keeps fibromyalgia patients from falling asleep. It can also wake them up frequently. In addition, research shows that about 50% of fibromyalgia sufferers have a sleep disorder called restless leg syndrome (RLS). The pain reduction that physical therapy can achieve can also lead to better sleep. In turn, better sleep can allow patients to take fewer sleep medications.
- Decreasing depression and anxiety —Physical therapy that increases activity levels can also help reduce depression and anxiety. Studies show that more than 43% of fibromyalgia patients take medication for depression and anxiety. Physical activity releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals can reduce pain and improve your mood. One medical study reports that exercise is as effective as medication in reducing depression.
- Fascia and free nerve endings —Your physical therapist can work with you, performing myofascial release and stretching exercises to help get the fascia gliding and decreasing the tension on the free nerve endings, thereby decreasing the pain and burning sensations that fibromyalgia patients have.
Franklin Rehabilitation can help you develop an effective fibromyalgia pain management plan
Are you searching for a fibromyalgia pain management option that also helps reduce your medication usage? Our Franklin Rehabilitation team is here to help you. We excel at building individualized treatment plans for fibromyalgia patients.
Currently, our team is offering multiple options that allow you to start getting the fibromyalgia care you need. We offer in-person therapy sessions and complimentary screenings.
Contact our team today for more information about our fibromyalgia services or to schedule your initial appointment.