Massage Therapy May Be a Great Way to Help Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition that causes pain throughout the whole body. Besides pain all over, other symptoms include fatigue, tension headaches, sleep disorders and stiffness. The estimation is that 7 million people have fibromyalgia and suffer from its symptoms.

Unfortunately it can become so severe that some individuals are forced to spend a lot of time in bed because of the intense pain that can occurs. Fibromyalgia was at one time considered only a psychosomatic disorder, but in recent years causes have changed to include a physical component to FM.

Presently, if a person has insomnia, fatigue and sleep disorders, they will be diagnosed with this condition even if there isn’t any pain. It’s still a very confusing condition and the question is always what causes FM symptoms?

There are a lot of theories as to why FM develops. One theory is that it is a fibromyositic pathology. This is a subtle inflammatory condition of the connective tissues and muscle that becomes chronic. Over time, the fibromyositis causes an accumulation of hyper-toned muscles that can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, toxic exposure to chemicals as well as many other factors.

How can massage help fibromyalgia?
Since this condition still has many theories to it’s origin, it becomes difficult to present an approach to treat it effectively.

Standard massage techniques including myofascial release can be very beneficial to produce results. A series of sessions are needed to gain the results that are desired. The first 3 or 4 session should focus on specific areas such as the neck, upper back lower back, gluteal region and the abdominals. Sessions should be scheduled at 2 per week. As sessions are continued, other areas of the body can be included as appropriate.

A word of caution
Because of the heightened sensitivity of the condition, the first 3 to 5 sessions may actually cause aggravation of pain in about 10% of people receiving massage. One of the thoughts on this is that the excessive release of waste products from the tissues going back into the circulatory system can cause this. However, after a series of massages this will subside and the client will start to see measurable positive changes.

There have been many studies with mixed results because of the nature of the condition and trials were not well designed. This doesn’t negate the fact that many people have been finding relief with massage carried out by a competent massage practitioner that has experience working with clients with fibromyalgia.

If you have been looking for a way to approach the annoying and often painful symptoms of FM, massage is a viable way to assist in recovering from FM along with exercise and proper nutrition.