What are some natural treatments for fibromyalgia?

Natural Treatments for Fibromyalgia | Whatcom PT

While many cases of pain stem from specific areas of the body, there are conditions that can make you feel pain throughout almost every part. Widespread pain can interfere with your ability to carry out your daily activities. The good news is that there are treatments that you can explore that don’t involve medication or invasive procedures.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes chronic pain in about 2% of the adult population in the U.S., which adds up to about 4 million people. If you’re a part of that number, then there are natural treatments that you can explore in physical therapy that may help alleviate the pain throughout your body.

Read on to learn about the basics of fibromyalgia as well as potential causes and risk factors that can lead to it. You’ll also learn about the natural treatments offered at physical therapy clinics that may help.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes musculoskeletal pain and tenderness throughout the body. People with this condition tend to be more sensitive to pain than those without it. The pain can range from a dull ache to a blinding, sharp pain. 

Fibromyalgia is often used to identify a group of symptoms, including:

  • Widespread pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Numbness or tingling.
  • Headaches.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sleep issues.
  • Memory and concentration issues.

Because the symptoms of fibromyalgia are similar to other conditions, it’s commonly misdiagnosed. A health care professional will most likely diagnose you with fibromyalgia if you experience pain in at least four out of five regions. These are the lower and upper regions on each side of the body, as well as the axial region, which comprises the head, neck and torso.

What causes fibromyalgia?

Research hasn’t been able to pinpoint the cause of fibromyalgia, but it has been linked to genetic dispositions that are triggered by factors such as stress, infection or trauma. 

There have been a couple theories about the pain sensitivity of fibromyalgia. One theory is that your pain threshold decreases as you age. Another theory is that your nerves overreact to average pain signals that are sent to your brain, causing more intense sensations.

There are several factors that may increase your risk of developing fibromyalgia, including:

  • Family history — If someone in your family has fibromyalgia, it increases the likelihood of you developing it as well.
  • Sex — The chronic condition is more common in females than males. The male-to-female ratio of diagnosis is 1:9.
  • Age — Fibromyalgia diagnoses are most common for middle-aged individuals, with the risk increasing with age.
  • Other conditions — Having rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk of being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Also, about 30% of people with lupus experience the painful condition.

Natural treatments for fibromyalgia that are available through physical therapy

Physical therapy is often one of the first courses of action for pain management, so it’s often recommended by health care professionals for people struggling with fibromyalgia. Physical therapy has a variety of natural fibromyalgia treatment options that can help to alleviate your pain and increase your quality of life.

Your physical therapist will determine which natural treatments will work best for you based on the severity of your fibromyalgia symptoms, physical ability and medical history. The treatment plan may include techniques and methods like:

  • Targeted exercises — Since fibromyalgia pain can spread throughout specific regions of the body, your physical therapist can recommend exercises for large areas where the ache is being felt. They will walk you through exercises that will strengthen your muscles and increase your range of motion that may be impacted due to the pain.
  • Cardiovascular training — With prescribing low-impact movement activities, such as walking on a treadmill, your physical therapist can help reduce the stress that may be triggering your fibromyalgia pain. The movements will also boost your flood flow and improve your overall fitness.
  • Temperature therapy — When it comes to alleviating pain throughout the body, ice packs and hot compresses are the go-to natural treatment options for at-home use. The cold therapy reduces your inflammation, while the heat can help treat your stiff muscles. Your therapist will instruct you on how to properly alternate between the two. 

Whatcom Physical Therapy provides natural treatments for fibromyalgia symptoms

When you have widespread pain throughout your body, it can interfere with your quality of life. That’s why it’s important to seek out natural treatments for fibromyalgia that will help alleviate your pain without being invasive or requiring medicine that could have potential side effects. That’s where Whatcom Physical Therapy comes in.

When you’re ready to naturally treat your fibromyalgia, contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.