Has physical therapy helped anyone with the pain?

I am curious if physical therapy is something I should look at in helping me reduce my joint pain. Other than heat (bath, jaccuzzi, sauna, heating pad, etc.), what else works for joint pain. The Gabapentin took away my muscle pain and twitches but the worst pain I have is the joint pain, so now I am trying to find something I can do to help with that issue. I have to get myself into shape for working, even part time. I can't sit for any length of time or stand, can't lift anything (due to neck/back).

I just can't lay in bed moving the darn heating pad around to the different areas. I'm glad I like to read, but there is a limit as well.

If not pt, any other things I can do at home to feel better?


I have had fibro for 16 years and I just recently started physical therapy for the first time. I requested someone who is familiar with fibro. I got lucky and my physical therapist is great. We are going slow and working on building core strength with simple exercise. He also focuses a lot on breathing technique. I am only going once every 2-3 weeks but I do think it helps some. I have home exercises and I try to do them everyday. He also told me if it hurts more than usual just stop. I have a lot of wrist and elbow pain right now (prior to starting physical therapy) and I can't say that I have seen an improvement much with that but I do think overall it does help me. Hugs


my tens unit helps with joint pain.purchased at a reasonable price at overstock.com ($32)

have no cartilage in both knees +my ankles can hurt like hell!

sometimes the heating pad offers no relief, but the tens is more dependable

For me it did wonders for the pain and I enjoyed the warm water pool... I went back to work today and I am afraid of what next week will bring me. I will continue to go to the gym and do the pool, hot tub, and sauna... because when I leave from their I feel relaxed. We all know that stress brings pain so anything that can help relieve that stress is worth a shot... I started with asking my Rheumy. to send me to Physical Therapy for the same reasons you are asking about. To prepare myself to go back to work. I learned the things to do in the pool and they set me on my own to continue in the gym ect... So ask your Dr to send you. to warm water therapy... when done find a gym that has the pool, a hot tub and a sauna. Those are the three most beneficial things ...anything else in the gym is an option.

I forgot to mention, I use Salon Pas sometimes on my wrists and it helps, at least temporarily, to numb the joint pain. But it doesn't help my elbows or knees (which also hurt sometimes). And I can't do heat so I use a lot of ice and sometimes it will help in the wrists but not the other areas. I did use a Tens unit years ago on my back / neck and it did help. Wal-Mart and most local pharmacy's sell reasonably priced units, I looked at one a couple weeks ago but didn't purchase it yet.

My daughter gave me a twin size heating blanket for Xmas. Best thing ever invented!!! It is like a giant heating pad. Granted it is only Sept (I live in northwest Iowa) but I placed it on my bed last weekend & Thank You God for telling her to get me the blanket!!!

The last time I went to pt it was at the local nursing home, It was for my tennis elbow & it got me out of the home twice a week & amongst people but that was about it.

I'll think about physical therapy, but like you try to find someone who is experienced with Fibro. I don't think Salon Pas is going to help with my hip, the joint it too deep.

Thank you for the info, Farida

I'll check out if I can find a Tens unit inexpensively.

Thanks, never thought about that, Farida

Somebody told me about the hot water pools, but unfortunately there is none within a reasonable driving distance from me. Also I can't afford to by a gym membership right now. This is info that I will readdress when our finances are a bit better.

Thank you for your suggestion, Farida

Sadly or luckily, I live in Florida and have hot flashes. The heating pad already makes me sweat many times, I can imagine with a heating blanket will do. ;)

Thanks, Farida

Years ago I ordered a unit to try but it didn't work much at all. If you have a pain management doctor or even your primary doctor can prescribe a tens unit for you. Most insurance companies pay for it or a portion of it. Or they may rent you one to see if it is effective. I recently got another new one, that has about 6 different settings for atrophy, pain, small and large muscles, etc. It works so much better than my older one that I got in 2006 from my insurance company, ordered through my physical therapist. Ordering the gel pads is similar to a prescription and cost about $25-$35 for 3 sets of 4 pads. I get mine directly from Empi, the maker of both of my units. I couldn't live without mine, as I get nothing in the way of pain meds. I have really intense and hard shoulder and neck muscles and it helps lower the pain from the daily muscle spasms. I use my tens with a heat pack over to help.

Wishing you well.

I have my Dr.'s apt tomorrow and will bring up a Tens unit with her. I can also check with my insurance to see if they would pay or partially pay for one. I used to get this treatment, after adjustments, when I went to the chiropractor many, many years ago and it felt great then.

Is your pain fibro related, or do you think it’s more arthritic pain? If it’s arthritis, there are some decent treatments for that. I tend to think it’s easier to manage than FMS, simply because its less of an unknown. You could try cold packs, elevation, a good brace, or even a local steroid injection. You might have to do tighter blood glucose control for a month, but if the injection works it might be worth it. I think there are other meds that are approved for injection in knees now. Orthovisc, and Synvisc are two.

Most of the severe pain is fibro related. For my back and hands, the only places I have osteoarthritis, I use a heating pad which works better than ice packs. I do have braces for my wrists, which I use when I have anything going on from wrist to fingers.

I have very tight control of my Diabetes, but I am anti steroids for several reasons including raising blood glucose (which I will not do), I react very badly to steroids and have every side effect in the book. I sure hope there are other options than steroids out there.

Since I have no arthritis in my knees, those meds are out as well. The TENS unit helps some, but I believe it's more the tight muscles than the nerves around the joints.

This is all so frustrating, what is so weird is that Diabetes is varied for each person, there is no menu because each individual's body reacts differently to carbs, but once I figured out the concept and my goal I got that under control in no time and still keep control. Fibro, on the other hand, I want to strangle, can't wrap my head around it and sometimes I don't know what pain is what and why is it hurting. There seems to be no pattern I have found.

Thanks for the suggestions, Farida