Physical Therapy and Biofeedback?

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/30/2010 5:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone tried physical therapy or biofeedback? If so what has your experience been? My new Neurologist has recommended I try these things. Right now, I'm willing to try anything to get a handle on my pain.

I have hear of physical therapy, but everyone I know went for a specific injury. What do they do when you hurt all over?

The only thing I know about biofeedback is what I've read on the internet.

Thanks for your help. By the way, I'm 23 and besides Fibromyalgia, migraines, and tension headaches have no physical ailments.

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
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   Posted 1/30/2010 8:18 PM (GMT -7)   
The only thing I liked about pt was when I was getting massages afterwards.  I didn't stick it out though.  I didn't see any improvement.  It could have been the place that I went, but for me, I did better on my own.  Knowing my limitations.
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 1/31/2010 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I just started physio therapy. It's supposed to be for my epicondylitis but she's treating me all over for my fibro too. She tried some myofasial release which felt really good at the time and gave me a couple of easy exercises. I've only been once so far but by the time I got home I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. I'm hoping it will get easier. They also suggested hydrotherapy(swimming). I tried that two days ago... just paddling around taking it easy for about half an hour and I'm still paying for that. I woke up up in tears from the pain that night. I hate all the conflicting advice you get from everyone. I've been told the best thing for someone with fibro is to learn your limitations and pace yourself but then when you find you can't do something they think should help you they look at you like your lying to them or something. I don't know if I should keep trying to do this stuff and keep losing days of my life to the consequences....will it get easier if i keep trying to do it?

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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 1/31/2010 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Madison and welcome. I like that, besides fibro, migraines and tension headaches that's all I have. Honey, I think at 23 that is more than enough to cope with but you are lucky in a lot of ways. smilewinkgrin
I went to a pain doc once and that is all he would recommend is PT for me. I did meet with the therapist about what we would be doing but something told me I could end up feeling worse so I never went to therapy. At the time I was having a lot of neck problems and it seemed the more anyone messed with my neck the worse it got. It did get better on it's own and I still have flare ups and baby it for awhile til it is better. I have osteo arthritis in the upper neck to go along with fibro.
Read the fibro 101 thread, second on page, if you haven't already it contains a lot of great info.
luv and hugs
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Date Joined Apr 2008
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   Posted 1/31/2010 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Physical Therapy can help or hurt depending on the therapist and the person receiving therapy. Ask your neurologist what services he will be expecting you to receive in PT. Will it be exercise, stretching, massage, TENs, ultrasound, heat, myofacial release, or anything else?

I think one of the problems with PT for fibro patients is since you/your insurance company are paying so much, they feel they have to give you a lot of time. The PT I've had in the past has always been scheduled for 45 blocks. That can be too long for a fibro person to do just about anything, especially when you are flaring or just starting. But then, people would not be happy to pay those prices for 15 minutes.

We have a local PT that treats a lot of fibro patients and they all love her. She truly understands fibro patients and knows what they need and don't need. Half of our fibro group has seen her and all have benefited. Unfortunately, cost is a huge factor, plus, she has a long waiting list.

Shannahsmom, many of us (but not all!) find that daily exercise and stretching help us a lot. You have to start slowly. Really slowly. If 1/2 hour in the pool knocks you out for days, then it's too much. You may need to start with as little as five minutes. That's probably not practical if you have to travel or pay to use a pool. Maybe try 1/2 hour where you "exercise" for five minutes then really relax for the rest of the time in the pool. Is your pool a therapeutic pool or a regular pool? Therapeutic pools are much warmer than regular health club/YMCA pools. The pool doesn't work for me. I have access (free!) to a therapeutic pool and even rehab/therapy classes but I won't take them. I feel bad for days afterward. I can walk like crazy on a treadmill for hours and only have minor soreness later but stick me in a pool and I'm toast. Therapeutic pools are too cold for me.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 906
   Posted 1/31/2010 7:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had PT twice for my hips. They usually give me exercises to build up muscle. Neither time did it help my pain. I took water aerobics classes in a 90 degree pool, but they didn't help either. Now I walk for 30 minutes in a 90 degree pool because I can't walk more than 1/2 block on land. It doesn't seem to be helping much either. Diane
Fibromyalgia since 1984, Sjogren's, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Auto-immune eczema, GERD, osteoarthritis, IBS, RLS, sleep apnea

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 1/31/2010 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I have done both biofeedback and physical theraphy.  My physical therapist gave me some good gentle movement exercises that help.  She taught a group of us to integrate movement without overdoing it.  But she has studied movement analysis, too, and specializes in pain management and fibro, so that may be why what she taught was helpful.
The biofeedback helped me lower my stress response.  By learning to breathe slowly and deeply, the parasympathetic nervous system will kick in and tense muscles will relax, heart rate will slow, etc.  It really does help.  It helps more than anything else I do.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/31/2010 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all your responses. The place my doctor recommended is part of a teaching hospital, so I'm hoping they know something about dealing with fibromyalgia patients. Oh well, I won't know until I try. I'm going to make the appointment for the pt evaluation tomorrow. Thanks again

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