Hydrotherapy & Aquatic Equipment for Fibromyalgia

The must have information about water therapy for the relief of Fibromyalgia 

Overview of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic pain condition. If you live with Fibromyalgia, there's a chance that you experience the emotional and physical difficulty of aching pain throughout your body and lingering exhaustion. Fibromyalgia Australia estimates that there are as many as 1 million Australians who experience Fibromyalgia, and this number is increasing annually. According to studies, Fibromyalgia is common and affects around 2 to 5 in every 100 people, mainly young to middle-aged women.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also known as fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a neurological disease affecting a person's sensory processing system. Fibromyalgia's major symptom are pain in the muscles, tendons, and bones throughout the body. For some people, the pain and its location vary from day today.

Who's most likely to suffer from Fibromyalgia?

Anyone of any age can develop Fibromyalgia. However, according to many studies and researches, the majority of people suffering from FMS are female. Fibromyalgia symptoms are generally been more severe in women than in men. Studies have indicated that women have more widespread pain, IBS symptoms, and morning fatigue than men. Painful periods are also common. The transition to menopause could possibly make fibromyalgia worse and is complicated with many of the symptoms of menopause and fibromyalgia almost identical.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Laboratory tests cannot diagnose Fibromyalgia yet. Tests can only tell that you do not have other medical problems known to cause pain. You shouldn't, therefore, be surprised if doctors can't find anything except some tender points, where you wince when pressure is applied there.

Many people suffering from Fibromyalgia say that they have at least many, if not all, of these symptoms:

• Flu-like pain that can be severe  

• Chronic fatigue

• Several tender body areas that hurt  

• Overall body aches  

• Daily pain

• Joint pain

• Headaches

• Depression

• Easily angered

• Feeling very anxious  

• Muscle stiffness and pain  

• Chronic back pain  

• Insomnia  

• Worsening of pain after physical activity  

• Mental malaise and confusion are often referred to as fibro fog  

• Restless leg syndrome (RLS) and/or periodic limb movement (PLM)  

• Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) 

Tender Points

Common tender points include, but are not limited to:

• back of the head

• tops of the shoulders

• upper chest

• hips

• knees

• outer elbows

Fibromyalgia flare-ups can be the result of:

• injury

• stress

• Illness like a flu

NOTE: An imbalance in the brain chemicals may cause the nervous system and the brain to misinterpret or overreact to normal pain signals.

Water Therapy & Fibromyalgia

Water-based exercise and physical therapy can help people with Fibromyalgia by easing pain and overall body aches. Working out in the water allows people with Fibromyalgia the freedom to move in the water while not fearing the pain that they may experience in land-based exercises. Water therapy can improve strength and reduce stress on the body. Exercise and associated stress-reduction techniques can help sufferers feel better, both mentally and physically.

Overall body pain: The body pain of a person suffering from Fibromyalgia can range from a simple dull ache to a burning or shooting pain, and parts of the body may feel sore. The buoyancy of water supports weak muscles, making it easier to balance and hold good posture. When you're in the water, the body is required to make continual small adjustments to the ever-changing environment. This improves the proprioception, or the sense of where the body is in space which helps in enhancing balance, coordination, and posture, as well as motor control. 

Tender points: Tender points are areas of tenderness in the muscular and tendinous tissue in the body. With the water physically surrounding and supporting you, preventing stress on these tender points will help you move easily, and you will be more confident in moving in the water.

Stiffness: Many suffering from Fibromyalgia report stiffness, which is generally widespread in the body and is diffused. As is typical of other pain-bearing diseases, the stiffness is usually worse in the morning and may improve as the day progresses. Working out in the water is a great form of therapy as it allows the stiff joints and muscles to relax and release stiffness.

Chronic back pain: Adults with fibromyalgia are more prone to feel chronic back pain. The advantage of exercising in water versus inland is that the buoyancy of the water supports joints and the body overall, eliminating the impact of land-based moves. When walking inland, there is a high impact not just in the joints but also in the back and spine itself. The water's buoyancy helps ease the stress on the joints, and its warm temperature helps tight muscles relax. This reduces stiffness and alleviates muscle spasms and thus a complete reduction of pain.

Headaches and migraines: Tension headaches are often a trigger for migraines. Stress causes a muscle to tense, and unrelieved muscle tension may cause neck, facial pain, shoulder, and headaches, which result in the formation of migraines. Exercising in the water is a perfect way to provide relief to tense, sore muscles, including migraine and headache relief. 

Chronic Fatigue:Patients with Fibromyalgia experience short periods of energy. They last for around 24 to 48 hours only to come back into feeling fatigued and tired again. For most, fibromyalgia fatigue is more of a disability than pain, as it can substantially impact the quality of life. Walking in the water activates more on your bones and joints, making it a safer exercise option.

Insomnia: Sleepless nights can cause stress which may trigger Fibromyalgia. Water requires you to work harder in moving due to resistance. Despite its buoyancy, water also provides 12x the resistance of air. Apart from possible biochemical changes in the brain, moving in the water requires relaxation of all the skeletal muscles and alternating stretch while simultaneously breathing deeply in a rhythmic pattern that can be similar to Yoga. This will help the brain be relaxed and exhausted at the same time so one might be able to try to sleep. 

Depression and anxiety: The soothing effect of the water also reduces the perception of pain, helping lower anxiety and depressive symptoms— two common problems experienced with Fibromyalgia. Exposure to water or laughter produces lasting or meaningful improvements for those suffering from depression and anxiety. Adults with fibromyalgia are more prone to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Worsening of pain after physical activity:Working out in the water helps avoid the pain after physical activity. The low-impact but high-intensity workout in the water is a great substitute for those who suffer from Fibromyalgia and are suffering from pain after inland physical activities.  

Restless leg syndrome:Warm and cold water can be used to alleviate these symptoms depending on the women's preference. However, most studies recommend that cold water be used for more reduction of symptoms.

Water Therapy Equipment & Fibromyalgia

There is a range of water therapy equipment that can enables exercise with minimal pain and lot of fun. It is recommended that sufferers of Fibromyalgia exercise in slightly deeper water, shoulder height, thus reducing body impact and weightlessness to 90%.

Aqua Treadmill
An Aqua Treadmill is a great piece of exercise equipment that can help to sufferers of Fibromyalgia as it: 

• Improves mobility without impact or pain

• water pressure boosts heart and lung strength and enhances blood flow.

• helps in avoiding after workout pain

• relaxes the body and mind addressing bouts of insomnia

• the soothing effect of the water may also reduce the perception of pain, helping lower anxiety

An Aqua Bike is another great piece of exercise equipment that can help to sufferers of Fibromyalgia as it can: 

• reduce leg and lower back stiffness 

• alleviate muscle spasms and restless leg syndrome

• enhance blood flow

• improve mobility

• help in avoiding after workout pain

• provide physical and mental relief and reduce anxiety.

• improve sleep

Note: Please seek medical advice before exercising & always train under the advice your medical specialist.


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