Research estimates that about 2% to 8% of the population has fibromyalgia, a chronic musculoskeletal condition. Fibromyalgia is sometimes also referred to as fibrositis. It’s generally characterized by episodes of pain felt across the body. Fibromyalgia affects more women than men. Most people are diagnosed at middle to late age in their lifetimes. It is a lifelong condition with no cure; however, the quality of a person’s life can be improved with proper treatment. Although the symptoms may never go away, they can be minimized with appropriate care.
What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
There are a few different symptoms associated with this condition. The most common symptoms include pain in “tender points.” These points are split symmetrically throughout the body. The pairs are located in the head, neck, chest, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Fibromyalgia pain is considered widespread. This means that the pain is felt at the top of the body and the bottom simultaneously, while also occurring on both sides of the body. Other symptoms include fatigue, problems with memory, lack of focus and poor moods. Despite fibromyalgia pain being widespread, there are certain areas of the body that may become more painful than others. These regions include the insides of the knees and the outside of the elbows.
What may be causing your fibromyalgia-related elbow pain?
The causes of fibromyalgia are not well understood. However, there are certain factors that experts believe could contribute to the development of this condition. Generally, it's believed that fibromyalgia is a result of changes in pain processing by the nervous system. The existing literature suggests that traumatic emotional events, injuries, infections and inflammation can eventually lead a person to develop changes in pain processing.
Several conditions are more likely to appear simultaneously in those who have fibromyalgia; these include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, depression, anxiety and TMJ disorders to name just a few.
Although the causes of fibromyalgia-related elbow pain are not well known, there are a couple of methods that have been shown to be effective for managing pain.
How can you manage your fibromyalgia-related elbow pain on your own?
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can negatively impact your quality of life, which is why managing it is so important. You can choose to manage your fibromyalgia at home or receive professional treatment. At-home treatment usually consists of cold therapy. Ice or ice packs can be effective at reducing inflammation. If your symptoms don’t respond to conservative at-home care, a licensed physical therapist may be able to guide you toward effective long-term pain management.
How can physical therapy help you manage your fibromyalgia-related elbow pain?
Physical therapy is a great option to work toward managing your fibromyalgia-related elbow pain. Benefits of PT include:
- Reducing inflammation — Physical therapists are specialists in using exercise and intentional movement to reduce inflammation. If using ice packs has proven ineffective at reducing inflammation at home, you may have better luck with PT. Your physical therapist can also teach you other ways to reduce inflammation, like by avoiding certain foods.
- Minimizing fatigue — One of the symptoms of fibromyalgia is fatigue. If constant fatigue is impacting your ability to perform daily activities, physical therapy may help. It can be used to build up endurance and strength gradually so that you do not become fatigued as quickly.
- Managing pain — Another benefit of PT is that it can teach you how best to manage your pain. While your pain may not completely disappear, you may eventually find it easier to manage with the guidance of a professional.
- Improving daily mobility and productivity — Living with fibromyalgia-related elbow pain can make arm movement feel like a chore, but PT could potentially improve your mobility and productivity in the long term.
Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness is ready to help you manage your fibromyalgia-related elbow pain
Our team at Forever Fit Physical Therapy & Wellness can offer you a unique and customized physical therapy experience. We value our patients so much that we strive to provide each one with a personalized treatment plan. We cater to your individual lifestyles, habits and future goals. If you’re wondering how you can gain control over your fibromyalgia, we can guide you through the treatment plan you need to effectively manage your condition. Our goal is to help you work toward the relief you’re looking for at any one of our several locations. We can help you integrate simple yet strategic movements into your everyday routine so that your quality of life can improve.
During our physical therapy sessions, our physical therapists will guide you through your treatment with the utmost care and focus, making sure that you’re completing your exercises or movements with accuracy and efficiency for the best results.
Are you ready to take the first step toward finding relief from fibromyalgia-related elbow pain? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.