21 August 2020
Spotlight on Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that results in widespread joint and muscle pain with tenderness to touch and joint stiffness. Symptoms can come and go and present in different parts of the body at different times. Fibromyalgia can also cause fatigue, sleep, mood and memory issues.
Patients with the condition are at higher risk for conditions such as IBS, migraines and cystitis.
Its much more common in women and more likely to occur in patients with pre-existing conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Unfortunately fibromyalgia is a difficult condition to diagnose as diagnostic blood tests and imaging cannot confirm its presence. So making a diagnosis is based on the patients description of the symptoms and the healthcare professionals observation of tenderness to pressure. However if the clinician is moving towards a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and after other conditions or diseases have been ruled out: there must normally be widespread pain that persists for over three months.
There are a number of different treatment pathways that a sufferer can follow, but a combination of lifestyle changes, complementary therapies and prescription medication is often recommended.
Your GP may prescribe pharmaceuticals that are not specifically for fibromyalgia but may help with some of the symptoms. However anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) do not relieve fibromyalgia pain but can treat the pain triggers such as arthritis.
As an Osteopath my treatments are tailor made to the individual needs of my patients and when treating someone with diagnosed or suspected fibromyalgia, my aim is to increase flexibility and range of movement which then helps to reduce the joint pain.
I use a number of different techniques including soft tissue work, electrotherapy, dry needling, joint mobilisation, manipulation and traction. There are also specific exercises I will prescribe to help maintain the mobility and flexibility in the joints of the spine, arms and legs.
I often work alongside a counsellor/ hypnotherapist and/or acupuncturist in order to implement a treatment plan. Using a multi-disciplined approach can help tackle the aspects of a sufferers lifestyle and any stressors in their life that may be a cause for heightened sensitivity to pain or a maintaining factor in the condition.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia and have questions or are unsure if our therapies can help you (osteopathy, counselling, hypnotherapy, acupuncture), please feel free to contact us at the clinic and we can arrange for a therapist to have a chat with you over the phone.
More information on Fibromyalgia can be found at the following websites: