Is Massage Effective for Fibromyalgia Pain?


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Massage therapy has become one of the more popular treatments among those with fibromyalgia, and is actually turning out to be one of the most effective methods for treating fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. A number of studies have been done involving massage therapy and fibromyalgia patients. These studies have concluded that those who participated found the following relief of their fibromyalgia symptoms:

  • Blood circulation was improved in the muscles which enabled faster healing

  • Improvement in motion range and flexibility

  • Reduction in stiffness

  • Reduction in pain

  • Reduction in stress

  • Reduction in depression

  • Improvement in sleep

    What is massage therapy?

    Massage therapy is one of the oldest forms of treating mental and physical illnesses. It is the process of using structured or unstructured tension, pressure motion, or vibration to the body’s soft tissue (muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, and vessels) to help alleviate tension, stiffness and pain in affected areas.

    It is still not entirely understood how massage therapy works to relieve pain, but many believe that massages effect the central nervous system. Thus, this therapy encourages the production of hormones that are the body’s natural painkillers such as endorphins and serotonin, and is why pain relief is often so successful.

    What types of massage therapy is best for fibromyalgia?

    There are many different types of massages that can be used as massage therapy. The following are a few different massages that may be effective for providing relief from fibromyalgia symptoms:

    Deep Tissue Massage – This is a vigorous form of massage therapy that works to relax stiff or inflexible soft tissue. The deep tissue massage concentrates on the deep layers of muscles and tendons to release chronic tension and pain. The massage therapist uses pressurized strokes across or along the affected muscles. Due to the fact that this massage is designed to deeply penetrate muscles and tendons, it is common to feel pain directly following treatment, but this pain usually subsides in a day.

    Myofascial Release – Myofascial release is designed to alleviate the stiffness and tension in the fascia that has been caused by myofascial pain (pain caused by myofascial syndrome which can affect the entire body but is usually present in the face and jaw). Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia also have myofascial syndrome, which is a condition that can aggravate the already unpleasant symptoms of fibromyalgia.

    The fascia, a thin tissue layer, covers all of the muscles and organs in the body. The fascia of some fibromyalgia suffers can become exceptionally tight and short causing pain. Myofasical release message therapy works to relieve this pain through stretching methods. This is achieved by a therapists finding the tight area of the body and gradually stretching and holding this area to help the fascia relax. This massage is continued until the fascia is successfully relaxed.

    Swedish Massage – This is one of the most popular forms of massage therapy. Its purpose is to increase oxygen flow within the muscles. The increase in oxygen helps improve the health of the muscles by clearing out toxins and increasing flexibility. Swedish massage is performed by stroking the body with the palms, fingertips or thumbs with long, smooth flowing movements. That being said, this massage can also be performed with tapping or kneading techniques to allow the body to benefit from vibration.

    If you would like to give massage therapy a try, you should first speak with your doctor. Secondly, you must make sure that you obtain massage therapy from a qualified massage therapist who has experience with treating fibromyalgia symptoms. Although a massage may appear easy to perform, it can be done incorrectly. Therefore, in order to receive the best relief, trust a professional.

    For more information on other effect methods for reducing Fibromyalgia pain please visit and sign up for the free newsletter.

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