By: Lisa O'Brien PT, DPT, Cert. DN
Many have heard of fibromyalgia but what does it mean? For some reason, there is a misconception when the term fibromyalgia is used when talking about chronic pain. Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis which is poorly misunderstood, often criticized and swept under the rug by many health care professionals leaving those that suffer from fibromyalgia at a loss. Due to misleading beliefs of fibromyalgia, many people continue to suffer from the widespread chronic pain without sufficient treatment to allow the patient to increase their quality of life. Fibromyalgia is a common and complex chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body. Other symptoms may include fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, temporomandibular joint dysfunction and gastrointestinal reflux disease which can decrease functional abilities and well-being.
Many people deal with signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia on a daily basis, but there are many treatments that are offered by physical therapists that can help with widespread pain. According to research, the use of dry needling is an innovative and potentially effective intervention for treating fibromyalgia. Typically, traditional interventions including exercises, mobilization and modalities have offered mediocre patient outcomes. As pain moves from an acute to chronic stage, the brain begins to increase signals causing increased perception of pain and increased receptive fields, thus increasing the region of perceived pain.
Treatment of fibromyalgia using dry needling targets muscles with trigger points and helps to relax muscles that are causing the pain. But dry needling does much more! Research suggests dry needling has an affect on the pain signals that come from the brain. One study shows, a trigger point on the right side of the body can be decreased by needling the same muscle on the opposite side. This shows that dry needling alters signals coming from the brain causing an overall decrease in muscle tone on both sides of the body.
Trigger points may not be present in those with fibromyalgia but the muscles often have altered blood supply and oxygen utilization. Dry needling not only relaxes trigger points, but it also increases blood flow and oxygenation into the sensitive and painful regions. The lack of blood flow and oxygen supply in the body can be a cause of pain. Thus, dry needling can be effective in those that do not have active trigger points. If you or someone you know have been diagnoses with fibromyalgia, contact Professional Rehabilitation Services for more information on dry needling. Dry needling is offered at all of our 6 locations across the Grand Strand.
At Professional Rehabilitation Services we pride ourselves in distinction and providing a higher level of care. Our therapists strive to grow as professionals by specializing in orthopaedics and constantly working to build our manual skills through experience and continuing education. So if you or someone you know have been dealing with any musculoskeletal problems and would like to know more about physical therapy options including dry needling, seek the consultation of a physical therapist at one of our six locations or see your physician for a referral to one of our facilities. Physical therapy is a regularly covered service by most health insurance plans.
At Professional Rehabilitation Services, we treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions using the latest in evidence based therapies provided by highly credentialed physical therapists. Professional Rehabilitation Services has six convenient locations in Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach, Conway, and Little River. For further information on this or other related topics you can contact Richard DeFalco, DPT, OCS, CSCS, CWcHP at Professional Rehabilitation Services (Myrtle Beach) (843) 839-1300, Brian P. Kinmartin PT, DPT, MTC, STC, OCS, CWcHP (Pawleys Island) (843) 235-0200, Richard A. Owens, MPT, OCS, Cert. SMT, CWcHP (Surfside) (843) 831-0163, Jill P. Phelan, PT, DPT (Conway) (843) 773-3031, Lisa O'Brien, PT, DPT, Cert. DN (Murrells Inlet) (843) 314-3224, Karl Ehlers, PT, DPT (Little River) (843) 281- 4222 or visit our website at www.prsrehabservices.com where you can learn more about the company and even download a referral form for your physician to fill out. You can also call and schedule a free 15 minute consultation!