If you have fibromyalgia, you probably have to work with a number of different therapists in order to keep your symptoms under control. This is rather normal, and nothing to be alarmed about.
One of the therapists that you may be referred to is called an occupational therapist. What do these therapists do for you?
How can they help you with the symptoms and what techniques do they use to allow you to live your life the way you want to live it? Let’s take a look here.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy, in short, is a type of therapy that helps people to be able to do everything that they need to do.
It’s not just about exercise and flexibility – it’s about helping people to determine the best way for them to continue with your daily tasks.
If you have issues with your hands and feel that you won’t be able to open up your jacket or button your pants, they can help you learn how to use your hands better or show you modified ways to do those things.
If you can’t be on your feet for a long period of time and you need to clean your home or do other tasks that involve being on your feet, occupational therapy can give you assistance in learning new ways to do so.
Work is another area where occupational therapy shines. This may seem obvious, because the word “occupational” insinuates work. But they will come into the place that you work and see what you do.
If there is anything that seems to be a struggle for you or you need some additional assistance with, the occupational therapist will take the time to help you figure out the best way to go about adjusting your workload and such.
The point is to help you stay at work, instead of allowing whatever is ailing you to push you out of work.
So, if you have to make adjustments, you can learn how to do them, and you can work with your employer in order to ensure that you have what you need in order to succeed in the workplace. A diagnosis doesn’t have to be a retirement notice.
There is an emotional end to occupational therapy as well. Sometimes, problems with physical health, aging, and other life events can make it difficult for you to function in a healthy manner.
You know how upsetting and frustrating it can be to deal with your pain, and mental health struggles are a common side effect of disorders like chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, so it’s a great thing to be able to deal with those issues in a healthy manner.
Occupational therapy can help in a variety of other ways as well – it’s about helping the whole person and making sure that they are able to live a happy and fulfilling life, even if you’re dealing with pain and disability.
What Can Occupational Therapy Do For Fibromyalgia Patients?
Now that we’ve taken an overall look at what occupational therapy can do for people, we can also take a look at what they can specifically do for those who are fighting off fibromyalgia symptoms.
How can they become a part of the team that you’ve been working with in order to fend off the issues that usually come with fibromyalgia?
First off, as someone with fibromyalgia, they’re going to sit down with you and figure out some sort of plan.
This plan could be any number of things, but it will include ways for you to adjust your lifestyle so that fibromyalgia doesn’t cause you more problems than it needs to.
If the fibromyalgia is affecting areas of your body like your knees and legs, for example, an occupational therapist may suggest things like mobile chairs and stair lifts in order to help you get from one area of your home to the other.
If it’s becoming hard for you to bend over, or it causes you more pain to do so, you can rearrange your home or your workspace in order to accommodate you a lot better. It’s all about helping you adjust while empowering you.
Then, they may sit down and talk to you about your mental symptoms. Is fibro fog an issue for you? Then they may help you to get in touch with resources that can help improve your memory and reduce the amount of fibro fog that you’re dealing with.
They may get you access to puzzles and other fun activities that will grant you entertainment while allowing you to use your mind.
If you’re having memory issues, they may teach you ways to remember more easily, or give you tips on improving your memory.
As the patient, you’re in control, but they will help you determine the right path for these treatments.
All in all, your occupational therapist will become an important part of your life. They will come and work with you on a regular basis, which you will have already outlined during the initial few meetings with them.
They will come and assist you with certain tasks and, if you see any changes in your pain or stress, they will help to modify your program so that it better fits your current circumstances.
Occupational therapy is very flexible and flows with you and your specific needs, making it a wonderful addition to any therapeutic plan or setup you have in place.
An occupational therapist can be a huge asset to your treatment team, especially if you’ve found that you’ve been debilitated by some of your fibromyalgia symptoms.
Your doctor can direct you toward an occupational therapist if you are in need of assistance from one.
There are usually a number of them in the area, because they are usually working with older adults in nursing homes and such, so finding one should be a simple task.
On top of that, your insurance should also cover their assistance if your doctor states that you are in need of help from one.