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At present, there is still no cure for fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by pain and stiffness of the musculoskeletal system. People with this disorder may experience deep muscle pain and limited motion. But did you know physical therapy can help ease the symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients?

The American Physical Therapy Association said physical therapy can help patients. It builds strength, improves mobility and enhances function. The organization also emphasized the role that physical therapists play, teaching self-management as patients deal with the symptoms while preventing flare-ups.

Focusing on proper posture, physical therapy contributes to faster healing and prevention of disabilities or injuries as this facilitates efficient muscle function. Stretching and mobility exercises, in particular, adds to muscle flexibility and function; it also reduces muscle tension and stiffness. With regard to fibromyalgia, physical therapy is also focused on good habits and proper alignment.

A good complement to physical therapy is the use of cold or heat packs, which help stimulate the bodys healing mechanism. Warm compresses dilate blood vessels, which contributes to increased flow of blood and oxygen circulation; this can also help in the faster distribution of nutrients as well as eliminate the toxins in the body. On the other hand, cold packs reduce swelling as it constricts the blood vessels.

Cold or heat packs are commonly used in the event of strains or sprains. In fibromyalgia, they help ease the chronic muscle pain.

Other tools that best complement physical therapy in addressing fibromyalgia symptoms include deep tissue massage, aerobic conditioning and electrical nerve stimulation.


The Right Treatment

Interventional pain specialist Arif B. Khan, MD, offers lasting solutions for several pain conditions. He has helped people of all ages in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area of TX. His treatment recommendations always start with conservative interventions such as activity modification, therapeutic exercise or physical therapy.

I'm very pleased with the Medtronic Neurostimulator I received on the advice of Dr Khan. - Bridget.E

Arif B. Khan, MD, is the medical director of Texas Interventional Pain Care, an interventional pain center specializing in the treatment of many painful conditions, and located at 2201 N. Central Express Way, Suite 171, Richardson, TX 75080; 4800 North Galloway Ave. Suite 300 Mesquite, Texas 75150. Phone: 972-952-0290 or fax 972-952-0293.