Living Daily with Chronic Invisible Illness, Living Daily with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Massage

If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, then Myofascial Massage may work for you! Yesterday was my first day of PT for this. Before, I had tried water therapy via a pool where they had me walking and doing various legs exercises.  While in the pool, it was not so bad, but walking out….that was a different story! I felt the pains deep in my joints for days and days!

I saw my doctor the other day and told him that the pool PT only exacerbated my Fibro making it more cumbersome to get through my days and week. “Was there anything else we could try to help me GET THROUGH a week instead of making it worse???” I cried!

The doctor said that Fibromyalgia is one of those tricky conditions where what works for one person, may not work for another. He was willing to exhaust another option to help me find relief. So, heat therapy, strengthening my range of motion in my shoulders and myofascial massage were then ordered 2x weekly for the next six weeks. Well, I thought, I made it through the last six weeks of the pool stuff….however, it was at a real cost to my body. It made me feel worse (is that possible…???) for days and I never felt like it helped.

But I did try. That counts for something.

Next round of therapy-bring it on!

I arrived at 8:45am to Physical Therapy with renewed hope. Heated, wet towels were placed over each shoulder for ten minutes while I rested and tried to relax. When the time was up, the therapist came in and began to explain that she was going to run the muscular part over my shoulders and down into my shoulder blades.  Now, my pain has a trigger spot there that if hit in just the right way will send me to the sky! I tried to keep relaxed while she began. She used a long, flat, metal tool called a Graston tool. It felt like she was scrapping my muscle and skin (in a good way!). Sometimes it was intense but it truly felt like a good pain.  She said some Petechiae were beginning to show. This was a sign I was having trouble spots and that I was reacting to the treatment in a normal way.  When these tight areas are manipulated, they begin to break apart causing this rash.

She took this picture to show me what was happening. Wow, that looked pretty bad! However, I felt like my body was relaxing as she worked on each side of my spine. It was the first time in years I felt a little bit of relief. That was something…*sigh*

Petechiae spots on my shoulder

I was told to drink plenty of water for the next couple hours to rid my body of the toxins being released from the nodules and then we discussed improving my range of motion. I have noticed over the past year that lifting my arms over my head has become more and more cumbersome. I was taken to a pulley (no weights, no tension) and as my left arm pulled down it raised my right arm up. I had complete control as to how high I raised my arm. I admit the stretch felt rather good. I switched arms and pulled down, then repeated with each arm three times.  She gave me a pulley to use at home, daily.

This morning my shoulder joints are throbbing, but that is not a new symptom for me. Fibros know we run 24-36 hours behind what we do….(be positive, be positive, be positive…)

All in all, my immediate thoughts are that if you can find a therapist trained in the art of Myofascial Massage, it may be worth asking your regular doctor or Rheumatologist about. Perhaps you will be one of those who can find a bit of relief with this method. I am hoping to be one of them!!!  I have another PT scheduled for tomorrow and I am actually looking forward to it!



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