A Possible Missing Piece In Fibromyalgia Treatment
Most physical therapy treatment for Fibromyalgia includes postural exercise, gentle massage and stretching. These methods are great but can be limited if the underlying cause is not addressed. The main issue I have heard from clients over the years is that they are unable to exercise… its just too painful and sometimes even gentle massage is too much and causes irritation and increased pain and tenderness. In my experience, if the nervous system is not addressed, treatment is just not that effective.
“Up-Regulated” Nervous System
Sometimes the underlying cause is an “up-regulated” nervous system. Meaning, the autonomic nervous
system is in “fight or flight” mode. Another way to say this is your nervous system is in a sympathetic
state. The causes of an up-regulated nervous system can be numerous. Any stressful event can cause
this: a surgery, an accident, a disease process, chronic emotional and physical stress…you name it!
Effective Treatment Methods
The most effective methods I have found in treating this situation is in combining 2 different techniques which both address the nervous system. One method is PRRT ™ Primal Reflex Release Technique, created by John Iams. This method is mainly done lying on a massage table and uses a gentle manual therapy approach that elicits reflexes as a way to relax the nervous system. Its gentle and it works!
The second method is TRE® Tension And Trauma Releasing Exercises created by David Bercelli. This approach I love because its empowering and the client learns overtime to practice this method independently in a short period of time. The technique is a series of 7 simple exercises that can be easily modified for most people who have difficulty with movement. This method helps to gently fatigue and stretch the core fight or flight muscles in the body and can activate the bodies natural inherent ability to dissipate tension and trauma. Of all the methods I have studied, this approach is the simplest and most effective for down-regulating the nervous system.
Once the nervous system is more relaxed it becomes much easier to move, exercise, and perform our daily activities with greater ease and less fatigue. Then implementing a posturely corrective exercise program becomes more feasible. I hope you find this blog helpful and informative.