ABC 7: Using Physical Therapy to Cope with Chronic Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is on the rise, putting health officials on high alert. The infectious disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of a tiny deer tick. It starts off as a bulls-eye rash for some, but other early symptoms include fever, headache, and tiredness, The scariest symptom however, is that the disease often goes undiagnosed.

This was the case for Kathy Fowler Silverstein, who suffered from the frightening disease for 15 years before finally being properly diagnosed in 2006. She was featured on ABC 7 News to discuss her terrible experience with the debilitating disease. At her worst moments, Kathy felt “extremely fatigued, couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t think” and at times “couldn’t even remember things.”

Now, she manages her illness by receiving physical therapy twice a week from Dr. Brian Paris of Advanced Wellness Systems. The physical therapy from Dr. Paris, combined with eating well and keeping stress-free, has Kathy living a relatively healthy life again.

Every year, about 300,000 cases of Lyme Disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maryland saw an increase in reported cases from 801 in 2013 to 1,373 in 2014, while Virginia saw a similar rise from 925 to 1,346 cases.

While the reasons for the recent spike in reported Lyme disease cases are relatively unknown, some experts think warmer temperatures are improving tick survival. Others believe that improved awareness has led to more diagnoses.

If you find a tick on your body, save it in a bag or container so that it can be tested for Lyme disease. The tests to see if the tick has the disease are much more accurate than the tests to see if the disease has been transmitted to you.