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Did you know that fibromyalgia affects approximately 4.5 million Americans? Fibromyalgia does not have a known specific cause or cure. Symptoms include chronic widespread pain throughout multiple areas of the body over a long period of time, including headaches as well as general fatigue and attention focusing issues.

Causes are linked to physical trauma, infection, and/or genetics, however no clear connection has been made. The actual pain is caused by an abnormal increase of the neurotransmitters that signal pain as well as the increased sensitivity in the brain’s pain receptors.

There is no cure for this disorder but there are activities that can increase comfort. Pain medication can take the edge off vastly but often a change in lifestyle factors will have the greatest effect. A healthy diet and good sleep habits will help ease issues with fatigue. Maintaining a good sleep schedule will reduce the “fibro-fog” you may feel and eating well will keep your mind as sharp as possible.

One of the best ways to see results is through exercise. Although sometimes painful, exercise can help ease your pain over time due to the release of endorphins, combating the increase in neurotransmitters and causing less pain. Depending on your condition, certain exercises might be more beneficial than others. There are many different methods to ease pain but patients find walking and swimming to be the most helpful.

Because of the nature of this disorder, it is important to enlist the help of a professional before embarking on a daily fitness routine. A physical therapist can examine your body conditions in order to determine the best course of treatment for you. A safe and effective treatment is crucial to a long term coping plan for this disorder.

Did you know that in many cases, you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please find a convenient ACCESS PT location near you and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. Give us a call today!