What This Means for the Future?
Currently, chronic illnesses are very hard to treat, often because they go identified for so long. “These types of diagnoses are long-term, difficult to manage and can’t just be fixed quickly. It’s in these types of cases, where the physician scratches their head without an immediate solution, that our lifestyle-based intervention can really help,” Simon said.
In cases like these, often patients will feel hopeless. Who wants to live out their days in terrible and mysterious pain. With these new findings, however, these formerly seemingly impossible obstacles become easier to overcome.
Occupational therapy can be helpful because rather than focusing on finding the source of the pain and curing it, the idea is to accept the obstacles ahead of you and find strategies to deal with them.
In fact, many occupational therapists have been solving people’s chronic ailments unintentionally. “A lot of occupational therapists work in chronic pain without realizing it - you might not be labeling it ‘chronic pain,’ but you are still treating a person’s pain from an occupational perspective,” said Simon. Because occupational therapy looks at the whole patient and finds ways to cope with the pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia, many patients do not feel defeated. They feel quite the opposite, actually, as now that they have acquired different tools from their therapist to keep in their toolbox, allowing them to fight their chronic pain on their own terms without needing to ask a doctor for help.