Fibromyalgia

What Is It?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterised by widespread pain throughout the body along with fatigue, memory problems, sleep and mood disorders.

Sufferers of fibromyalgia often spend years trying to find a diagnosis that fits their many symptoms and fluctuate between periods of having high energy and ‘crashes’ of fatigue and pain.

In severe cases, fibromyalgia can cause significant lifestyle disruptions, including reduced activity, unemployment and  depression.

The underlying mechanism that creates the symptoms of fibromyalgia has been shown to be increased pain amplification by the central nervous system and reduced activation of the  sympathetic nervous system.

Essentially this means that small pain signals in the body are processed as large pain signals by  the central nervous system.

 

What causes it?

Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition that is poorly understood. This can be very frustrating for sufferers, who often find themselves being shuffled between health practitioners looking for answers and long term relief.

While the pain generally feels muscular, usually little to no muscular damage or injury can be found on physical assessment.

The symptoms can also mimic those of an infectious illness, or other chronic diseases.

Often a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is reached after other diseases and causes have been ruled out.

The cause of fibromyalgia is as yet unknown, it was thought that the depression and reduced activity that are often associated with fibromyalgia could be causative, however it has  been shown that these are symptoms of fibromyalgia rather than causes.

Other significant signs of fibromyalgia are a lack of REM sleep in sufferers and a positive  result of more than 11 out of 18 muscular trigger points.

What is the treatment?

Following a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, patients primary strategy is to understand and manage their symptoms.

This can involve pacing activities and balancing exercise so as to reduce ‘crashes’ and unhelpful pain cycles that lead to frustration.

Identifying activities, employment and a  routine that don’t exacerbate symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life for someone with fibromyalgia.

Having psychological support can also be very important to help patients deal with the emotional distress of a complex chronic  condition that has no outward physical signs.

Treatments that have been shown to help reduce symptoms are TENS (electrical stimulation) which produces an endorphin response and can reduce pain. Certain  medications may be helpful when prescribed by a doctor.

Education and understanding of this condition can have the largest impact for sufferers, helping them to manage and maintain some control over their symptoms.

Physiotherapists can have a large role in education and helping patients find a routine and activity level that helps them manage their condition as best as possible.

Disclaimer

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.

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PATIENT FEEDBACK

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Billy Wu ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Awesome physiotherapists. Have my long-term health in mind when offering treatment plans. Very patient in explaining my issues. Great support staff, responsive to schedule changes and inquiries.

Jen Scheerschmidt ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Initial Assessment went well. Office was busy but staff were attentive and on the ball. Dr. Rennick was gentle and adjusted my back well. I will be back for another appointment.

Morgan Tarves ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I attend Action Sports Clinic to see my physiotherapist - Darra. Darra is very knowledgeable, attentive, and truly knows his sports medicine. I would highly recommend Darra to anyone who has a sports injury or is in need of physiotherapy. The front desk staff are very friendly and helpful, and are able to answer all of my questions.

David Langille ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I've been seeing Shawn and the Action team since 2012 for my sports therapy needs and I'm better for it! Treatment and pro-tips (including video feedback on movement coaching) from someone who is client focused and active makes all the difference.

Cameron Belisle-O’Donnell ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I've had an excellent experience having some physio work done on my shoulder. Shawn and his team are experts at what they do. They're friendly, punctual, and down to earth. I would highly recommend them!

Ashley Gibbs ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Shawn is the best physio I have ever been to, and I continue to go back to him to get me over my many injuries so that I can get back playing. I like Shawn because he knows I'm not going to stop playing my sports, and he takes a practical approach to getting me back playing as quickly as possible. Shawn has a broad background to bring to the table in terms of treatment options, and his experience at recognizing injuries, human physiology, body mechanics, and the symptoms, treatment, future prevention and rehabilitation is second to none. For me personally, I like that Shawn understands I need an "aggressive" approach to the treatment required to overcome my injuries - this is refreshing because other physios I have attended previously I always felt were treating my injuries and pain threshold with kid gloves which resulted in lengthy absences from playing my sports. I like that Shawn is hyper focused on getting me back playing as soon as possible, and even recognizes I may play when I'm not supposed to. He just rolls with it! Love it.

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What services do you offer?

We specialize in the practice of Sports Medicine and provide services related to Sports Therapy, Chiropractic Care, Physical Therapy, Massage as well as off the shelf and custom Prosthetics & Orthotics.

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Open Hours

Sunday          Closed
Monday         7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday         7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday   7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday       7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday            7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday       Closed

 

639 5 Avenue Southwest Suite 130
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0M9

Action Sports Clinic