Massage for Fibromyalgia

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Massage for Fibromyalgia  in Green Valley, Sahuarita, and Tucson AZ

What Is Fibromyalgia? – Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition causing overall body pain in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissue. This condition affects 5 million Americans 18 years of age and over, according to the National Institutes of Health.  It affects mostly women, 75% of whom use massage therapy for relief of their painful symptoms, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

People who have fibromyalgia may also suffer from tension headaches, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, stiffness and joint pain. When they are tested for arthritis and osteoarthritis, the results show no abnormality, so the diagnosis might then be unfairly attributed to psychosomatic causes.

What are Tender Points? – Tender points are very small areas, around the joints, but not in the joints, that are tender and painful.  These points are predictable in their placement in the body.  Therefore, when present, this is an indication of fibromyalgia.  Although it was previously thought that fibromyalgia was caused by inflammation, when the tender point tissue was examined, no indication of inflammation was present.

It is painful to consider that the side effects of fibromyalgia (anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, stress, exhaustion) can actually exacerbate the fibromyalgia pain.  Other factors that may cause worsening of fibromyalgia are cold weather, humidity, and lack of exercise.

What are the Possible Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia? – Among the possible therapies for fibromyalgia are a broad range of therapies from acupuncture, herbal remedies, chiropractic therapies, physical therapy, nutritional supplements, analgesics, massage and more.  This writing addresses the therapeutic advantages of massage.

The results of massage are:

  • Pain reduction 1
  • Decrease in anxiety1
  • Increase in hours and quality of sleep1
  • Reduction of pain in tender points 1
  • Decrease in use of analgesics 2
  • Decrease in stiffness3
  • Decrease in fatigue3

1 Field, T., Diego, M., Cullen, C., Hernandez-Reif, M., Sunshine, W., Douglas, S. (2002). Fibromyalgia pain and substance P decrease and sleep improves after massage therapy. J Clin Rheumatol, 8(2):72-6.

2 Brattberg, G. (1999). Connective tissue massage in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Eur J Pain, 3(3):235-244.

3 Sunshine, W., Field, T.M., Quintino, O., Fierro, K., Kuhn, C., Burman, I., Schanberg, S. 1996). Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation. J Clin Rheumatol, 2(1):18-22.

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