Fibromyalgia – The Invisible Illness

On a recent edition of the RNJ Morning Program, Morning Mike welcomed Carol Cote, the president of North Jersey Physical Therapy Associates in Hackettstown and Morristown. One of the areas where Carol and her staff have concentrated their efforts with physical therapy is in addressing Fibromyalgia. Over 10 million Americans have this “invisible Illness,” a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculo-skeletal pain with fatigue and tenderness in localized areas of the body. Some of the challenges in dealing with fibromyalgia include the fact that it is not well understood by many physicians and does not respond well to traditional pain medicines, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxants. And because it is soft tissue pain, it is “invisible” under orthopedic, neurologic, and medical workup. Medical testing is inclusive of X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, Nerve tests and EMG, and Blood work – all of which all turn out negative.

Carol shared that what research has found is that a successful treatment program for fibromyalgia must include the three pillars of fibromyalgia resolution: 1.) Medical management by your physician; 2.) Movement to desensitize the brain, with specialized physical therapy; and 3.) Mind – Emotions and attention can increase pain processing in the brain.

If you would like to know more about Carol’s work with Fibromyalgia patients, contact North Jersey Physical Therapy Associates at 490 Schooley’s Mountain Road, Suite 3B in Hackettstown (that’s Hastings Commons). Visit their website, or call 908-852-7575.