Fibromyalgia is a complex collection of symptoms that is often experienced differently by each individual. The medical community is still unsure of the direct cause for fibromyalgia, but current research suggests that nerve and chemical imbalances throughout the body may play a large role in this disease. Along with this systemic imbalance it is believed that outside factors such as emotional and psychological stress, physical trauma, illness and diet can increase the symptoms experienced with fibromyalgia.
Our treatment team through the pain management program includes physical and occupational therapists and a clinical psychologist. Patients can also have access to physicians and clinical dietitians (if needed) who specialize in the treatment and management of fibromyalgia.
Education and Management of Fibromyalgia
Our goals are to modify and manage the factors influencing the fibromyalgia by:
- Educating the patient on the issues that contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Helping the patient to regain flexibility and strength in order to have a more functional lifestyle.
- Teaching techniques to self-manage the physical, emotional and psychological symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Who Can Benefit?
Any person who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, whether in a managed state or flare-up can benefit from the treatment and education provided by this team. Since a main focus of this program is education and self-management strategies, prospective clients should be motivated to take an ACTIVE role in their own improvement. Long-term lifestyle changes related to the root causes of symptoms often need to be made in order to produce positive results.
Physical and occupational therapists from our pain management program have been working with this population of patients since 1995 in a multidisciplinary approach.
Patients will learn how to use exercise to manage symptoms. Physical therapists will use a variety of treatment tools to help patients manage and control pain, as well as techniques to assist in correcting or minimizing the impact of other physical dysfunctions.
Our therapists will provide instruction in joint protection techniques, correct posture and body mechanics, along with suggestions on energy conservation and pacing strategies to increase independence with daily activities. Additional education is provided in the use of therapeutic exercise to help with improving flexibility and increasing strength.
Psychologists from The Medical College of Wisconsin work with the physical and occupational therapists on the treatment team. They assist the patient in developing a set of practical skills to lessen the impact of fibromyalgia on the patient and his or her family. These skills may include sleep hygiene, flare-up management, relaxation training and biofeedback.
Behind the scenes, our staff work hard to verify insurance coverage and to coordinate the scheduling of the various components of care together. We also collaborate as a team with your physician, to make sure all aspects of care are working effectively. “Working with the whole patient” is the way we seek to provide our services to you.
Medical management is not a component of the Fibromyalgia Program. The patient and his or her primary physician should discuss the care plan and appropriateness of services. If a consultation with a physician specializing in fibromyalgia and pain management is requested, we are happy to provide the patient with a referral.