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Fibromyalgia Pain - Can Massage Therapy Reduce It?

Dr. Meghana Patwardhan 87% (43 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Anesthesia, FIPM, Clinical Fellowship Training in Chronic Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai  •  17 years experience
Fibromyalgia Pain - Can Massage Therapy Reduce It?

Aches and pains are typical signs of fatigue, but sometimes these aches are constant and can affect your day to day life. Fibromyalgia is not a disease, but a syndrome that affects the muscles and soft tissues of the body leading to chronic pain, tiredness and insomnia among other symptoms. Though this syndrome cannot be cured, it is not life-threatening and can be managed without causing permanent damage. One of the ways to manage fibromyalgia is through massage therapy.

  1. Massage therapy is one of the oldest forms of healthcare. It aims to improve circulation thereby, improving the flow of nutrients through the body and aiding in the elimination of waste material. When it comes to fibromyalgia patients, a massage not only calms tired muscles but also reduces heart rate, improves the range of motions possible in joints and increases the body’s production of natural painkillers.
  2. Most fibromyalgia patients benefit from deep tissue massages. During the treatment, a therapist may use his or her elbows, forearms and feet along with their palms and fingers. He or she will typically use long strokes while kneading the muscles in deep circular patterns. Your therapist will also be able to address specific tender points and ease muscle knots.
  3. Massage therapy can be customised as per your requirements and sensitivity. Fibromyalgia patients are very sensitive to touch and hence, to benefit from a massage, it is essential, to be honest with your therapist and tell him or her the level of pressure you can handle.
  4. Massage therapy not only helps deal with fibromyalgia-related pain, but can also help treat insomnia that accompanies it. After a massage, you are more likely to have a restful sleep that does not make you wake up feeling tired. Having a good night’s sleep is important for fibromyalgia patients as it is during this time that the body restores and rebuilds itself.
  5. Massage therapy can also help manage the stress and anxiety that results from fibromyalgia pain. As the therapist addresses the various pressure points on the body, stress, anxiety and depression are relieved. Some theories also suggest that a massage blocks pain signals from reaching the brain while others suggest that a massage can stimulate the release of serotonin or endorphins.

Though a massage may feel like a simple procedure, the wrong massage can cause worsen your pain. Hence, it is important to work with a professional masseuse to treat your aches and pains. Following a regular massage schedule can also help manage your discomfort better. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pain Management Specialist.

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