What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome which is characterized by chronic pain, stiffness and tenderness in muscles, joints, and related soft tissues. Though it does cause any damage to the body. It is considered as a systematic problem which involves biochemical, physiologic, neural as well as endocrine and results in disorder of pain perception. Usually, it affects both sides of the body.


The exact etiology to get this condition is still being researched, but there several causes and risk factors which can lead to Fibromyalgia:

  • Adverse childhood experience like, PTSD
  • Viral infection
  • Diet
  • Psychological and behavioral factors
  • Conditions like, RA, SLE and AS
  • Environmental factors

Women are 2x more prone to get this condition than men. Positive family history, physical trauma, psychological stress, recent illness, or myofascial pain syndrome adds on to more chances for having Fibromyalgia

Symptoms You May Experience:

  • Muscle Pain is the major symptom of Fibromyalgia.
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Mood disorders
  • Migraines
  • Restless legs
  • Limb numbness

These Symptoms are often aggravated by:

o   Stress

o   Damp/chilly weather

o   Trauma

o   Overstretching

o   Humidity

o   Heel pain with first steps in the morning & after long periods of sitting

o   Tender inner side of the heel

o   Worse pain while walking barefoot &/ on hard surfaces

o   Limited ankle movements


How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

For the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, Widespread Pain Index (WPI) is used. Patients must have a score ≥7 and Symptom Severity Scale score ≥5 to get diagnosed with this condition. And these symptoms should be there for at least 3 months. These both scales are attached at bottom.

    How Can Physiotherapy Help?

    According to current research, education about pathophysiology and significance of this condition is the most effective method of reducing pain symptoms in patients.

    Apart from that, certain therapies and exercises make a huge difference in pain management.

    o   Aerobic and resistance exercise

    o   Joint mobilization & manipulation

    o   Electrotherapy like, TENS

    o   Connective tissue massage

    o   Lymph drainage therapy

    o   Stretching program

    o   Trigger point release 

    Other therapies like Chiropractic, Behavioral therapy and occupational therapy can also aid in managing Fibromyalgia.

    Written by: Anjali Patel. Registered Physiotherapist Resident. Orthopedic Physiotherapist. Concussion Management

    Symptom Severity Scale: https://images.app.goo.gl/3Ep86gbLVbEtReAd9

    WPI: https://images.app.goo.gl/ZgmXu2wG2cYcRv5M6


    Orthopedic Division Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Theory Manual



    Integrative Physiotherapy is a Barrie-based clinic that believes in a one-on-one patient-centred, manual therapy (hands-on) approach to physiotherapy. We aim to empower our patients by providing quality care that is personalized to each patient in an interactive and friendly manner. Through the use of the best available treatment techniques, we aim to provide exceptional care so that each patient feels engaged and motivated.

    Our therapists are continually upgrading their skills and taking time to provide comprehensive assessment and treatment techniques that are always one on one without the use of assistants or double booking patients to make sure that you achieve your functional and sports goals as soon as possible.  

    Our therapists would be happy to help you to achieve your goals, get in touch to schedule your appointment.  Don’t let pain ruin your day!

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