What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia may be healthcare’s most poorly understood condition. It is a condition that is characterized by generalized pain, tenderness, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, digestive problems like irritable bowel or constipation, reflux, and poor sleep hygiene. It is diagnosed through deduction. Typically blood tests and other diagnostics are negative, leaving the only possible cause of these symptoms to be fibromyalgia. 

It is classified as a rheumatic condition, though it does not cause muscle, bone or joint destruction. Most research now points to this condition as carrying a strong familial component, with females being nearly twice as likely to suffer from it. Those that have fibromyalgia are also 2 to 7 times more likely to have other medical co-morbidities like auto-immune dysfunctions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. 1 

There are several very common mistakes in the management of fibromyalgia. First, there is a “one cause, one treatment” approach that many practitioners employ to combat a patient’s symptoms. Many physical therapists treat fibromyalgia with therapeutic exercises, manual therapy techniques like massage, myofacial release, cranio-sacral treatment, and modalities like electrical stimulation, ultrasound, or LASER. While these treatments can abate some of the symptoms, they never fix the problems. Pharmacological management typically aims to address the symptoms and not the syndrome as well. The thinking that one thing can significantly produce a positive outcome would be naive.

The next mistake in management of fibromyalgia is there is a lack of understanding of what systems are involved in the process of the disorder, and what should be done to treat it. There are multiple systems in the body that are malfunctioning that are creating the symptoms experienced in fibromyalgia. When the research is examined, these are typical systems involved:

* The immune system.

* The digestive system.

* The endocrine system (thyroid and adrenal glands).

* The liver.

* The brain.

There are also several side conditions that are typically present as well, and they are:

* Anemia

* Blood sugar imbalances

* Hormone imbalances

* Infection

The primary goal or treatment should be to “fix” mechanism, so that at the end of treatment you need very few medications or supplements. When functioning optimally, the body does not require much assistance.

The first thing both patients and practitioners should know is that fibromyalgia is just a word or a label, and there are health care practitioners that can manage each of these systems, and conditions and lead those suffering in the grips of chronic pain to a brighter tomorrow.

Any questions or if you are looking for more information please feel free to visit our websites.


Ryan Whelton MSPT, DPT


About the Author

Dr. Whelton is a Super Bowl XXXVIII champion physical therapist in New Tampa & Wesley Chapel, FL. He now owns a physical therapy clinic in New Tampa, FL. As a doctor of physical therapy and owner of Sport and Spine Physical Therapy and Wellness Center in Tampa, he has developed self help videos, sharing his expertise. Dr. Whelton’s experience also includes working in the NBA, UFC fighters as well as working with our nation’s veterans at the VA hospital. Working as a physical therapist in Tampa at James A. Haley VA hospital he rehabilitated our nation’s veterans and active duty soldiers home from war.

Sport and Spine PT has a 98% success rate in returning their patients back to their prior level of function. Programs offered at Sport and Spine PT and Wellness include: Pediatric Physical Therapy, Fibromyalgia Relief Program. Back and Neck Pain relief programs, TMJ and Headache Relief Program (only PT in Tampa). Adolescent sports injury and training prevention. We work with young athletes preparing them for college athletics improving speed/agility, strength, and power both on-site and in clinic. Weight loss programs without drugs. His clinic offers neuromuscular massage therapy, yoga and Pilates classes.

Websites: http://www.SSPTWC.comhttp://www.PTandPainRelief.com

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=former+nfl+PT+in+tampa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sport-and-Spine-Physical-Therapy-and-Wellness-Center/111657195565776 .

Twitter at @TampaBackPain

Author: Sport and Spine PT

Ryan Whelton has developed a true breakthrough that often instantly dramatically decreases or eliminates pain, increases range of motion and decreases muscle spasm all in just seconds to minutes. Patients also experience an accelerated healing rate. Education Northeastern University; Doctor of Physical Therapy Northeastern University; M.S. in Physical Therapy Northeastern University; B.S. in Rehabilitation Science Subspecialties Chronic Pain Back and Neck Pain Sports Injuries (including high-level ballerinas, gymnasts, baseball, football, soccer, basketball) TMJ/Jaw Pain Migraine/Tension Headaches Injury Prevention in Adolescents Veterans Hospital (Tampa, FL) Ryan spent almost 3 years rehabilitating our nation's veterans and active duty soldiers returning from war. He had the opportunity to rehab injuries most PTs never see in their career. Rehabilitating soldiers with orthopedic injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injures, soldiers with burns, soldiers who are single and double amputees, chronic pain, cardiac rehabilitation, post surgical patients. Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins (NBA, NHL) Ryan worked alongside their head athletic trainers/physical therapists, at their clinic, and courtside, providing premier care for top athletes. New England Patriots (NFL) As an employee, he provided physical therapy to professional football players training for their upcoming season, at practice, before games, and during the Super Bowl. College Football (Division IA, ACC) The private physical therapist/personal trainer for the leading rusher in the history of Boston College. NFL Draft Trained athletes in New Orleans preparing themselves for grueling workouts and testing of the NFL combine. Ryan also trained athletes in New Orleans preparing for the NFL Draft, rehabilitating their injuries and increasing speed, strength and overall wellness. Radio Co-Host Ryan can be heard on the radio speaking to over a quarter of a million listeners, Saturdays on 860 AM "The Home Team." Due to his extensive experience in professional sports and working with other high level athletes he was asked to co-host the show as the official "Injury and Rehabilitation Expert" by "The Home Team." The show is hosted by arena voice of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Orlando Magic and press box voice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Paul Porter. Personal Throughout his life he has not only been the clinician, but the patient. These experiences have given him a unique perspective on how he approaches and treats patients. He is able to better empathize with people who are in pain and/or disability. As a full scholarship collegiate athlete, he learned to juggle the rigors of 7.5 years of physical therapy school, with his athletic obligations, family and friends. This taught him how to create balance in his life while still striving to achieve his goals. Outside of Work When not working, Ryan loves; spending time with his wife, Jill, and son, Cameron. He also enjoys scuba diving, yoga, running, lifting weights, fishing, golfing, skiing, Aikido, yoga, Pilates, mountain biking, dog training and spending time at the beach. Ryan likes to travel and is trying to see as much of the world as he can.

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