Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in muscles and joints, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. Because its symptoms are common to many other disorders, it is difficult to diagnose-a situation that frustrates patients and physicians alike.

Although not much is known about what causes this syndrome, we do know that it may be triggered by physical or mental stress, inadequate sleep, an injury, exposure to dampness or cold, or certain infections.

Common symptoms

The most common symptom of fibromyalgia is pain. In addition to pain, other symptoms include:

Moderate to severe fatigue

Sleep disturbances (limited duration, poor sleep habits, and frequent interruptions

Difficulty concentrating

Numbness and tingling

Headache and facial pain

Bowel or bladder spasm and irritability or control issues

SMART PT'S approach to treating fibromyalgia

SMART PT's treatment of fibromyalgia helps relieve pain, restore function, relax you, and empower you to self-manage your condition. Your treatment may include:

1. Therapeutic exercises to increase aerobic capacity and improve the efficiency of the postural muscles (the gravity fighting muscles)

2. Body mechanics and posture training to learn to move efficiently

3. Instruction in breathing and relaxation techniques for pain relief.

4. Stretching and manual therapy techniques as indicated for pain relief and self management.

5. Modalities such as heat and massage for pain relief

6. Education about ways to reduce stress, practice good sleep habits, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


7. Pain education to reduce fear, improve the understanding of how the body responds to chronic pain, and to instruct


patients on the best coping strategies for their pain


"Tim is a talented physical therapist who is creative, patient, and caring.  I value and respect his judgement and input.  He has expertise in the management of a wide range of conditions, from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to degenerative disease of the spine to fibromyalgia.  He is a skilled Manual Therapist.  He is excellent at communicating with patients and referring health care providers.  Patients feel comfortable working with him, and a number who expressed skepticism about PT based on prior experiences changes their minds after working with Tim.  He doesn't shy away from individuals with more difficult or chronic medical problems."

While I was sorry to see Tim move away, I am excited that he will have the opportunity to have his own practice.  I strongly recommend that you refer your patients to him for the excellent physical therapy care that your patients deserve."

Susan Lacks MD  click here for full testimonial

"I am a rheumatologist in Bethesda MD, and when Tim McCullough PT was working in Washington DC, we shared a number of patients.  Tim was particularly good with my most difficult rheumatology and hypermobile joint patients. He was particularly professional and receptive to the patients' needs, as well as being an effective physical therapist."

Russell Rothenberg, MD