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  • Writer's pictureRestorative Therapy Co.

Let's Talk About Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia isn’t just one condition; it’s a complex syndrome involving many different signs and symptoms. People with fibromyalgia may experience a range of symptoms including widespread pain, areas on the body that are tender to firm touch that may move around, muscle stiffness, headaches, thinking and memory problems, fatigue, depression, anxiety, cramping in the pelvis, and numbness or tingling. Often, stress can make the symptoms worse. Fibromyalgia affects almost five million people in the United States; 80-90% are women. It is a diagnosis that can be very misunderstood due to the wide range of symptoms.


Fibromyalgia can be difficult to manage and greatly impact quality of life. While there is no cure, research has shown that the best treatment plans include exercise, manual therapy modalities, and education. Physical Therapy for fibromyalgia can help with all three.


If we want to be able to move, we must start moving. Low impact, resistance based, mindful exercise has been shown to be most effective. At RTC physical therapy in Virginia Beach, we use this approach in prescribing exercise and may even include Pilates moves on the mat or reformer and Yoga exercises in treatment. Gentle stretching and exercises that lengthen the body are also helpful in easing functional movements throughout the day and counteracting long periods of inactivity where our muscles can tighten up and shorten.


Manual treatment can assist in decreasing muscle tension and spasms. Manual physical therapy can encompass a variety of techniques, including myofascial release, joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, assisted stretching, and trigger point therapy. Treatment could include modalities such as cupping, dry needling, or instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization.


Education and self management techniques are an important part of managing fibromyalgia symptoms for life. Our therapists take the time to educate patients about fibromyalgia, help to identify personal triggers, and provide personalized strategies including exercises and lifestyle modifications to improve overall well-being. PT sessions may incorporate breathing and relaxation exercises to help manage stress, which can play a significant role in exacerbating fibromyalgia symptoms.

RTC’s physical therapists are movement experts. We improve quality of life through hands on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. If you or a loved one are suffering from fibromyalgia, please reach out to schedule an appointment with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy today. Call 757-578-2958 or visit our website to book your PT appointment and let Restorative Therapy Co help you Feel Well and Be Well!


Contributed By Dr. Ashley Scifres, PT, DPT

Restorative Therapy Co

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