massage for fibromyalgia

“There are days when I feel like I just can’t go on like this. I’m so glad I discovered massage for fibromyalgia pain. It has made all the difference in my life. Massage gives my tender points pain relief, and I’m able to get out of my house more than I was and I’m better able to handle the chronic pain.” — Kelly, Clifton

We are seeing more clients who come to us wondering if massage can help fibromyalgia. Because the causes of fibromyalgia are not clear and no cure exists, the goal of treating fibromyalgia is to control symptoms and minimize discomfort, massage therapy is a great option.

What is fibromyalgia? It is a chronic condition that causes exhaustion, sleep disturbances, and pain in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments — all of which are things massage greatly helps.

According to an article for the Society for Women’s Health Research, fibromyalgia may affect as much as 3 to 6 percent of the U.S. population, and it is more common in women than in men.

There several risk factors for fibromyalgia:

  • Age: the condition usually occurs in people between the ages of 20–60 years, and some research studies have noted peaks around age 35.
  • Family History: studies have shown that having a relative with fibromyalgia may put you at higher risk for developing the disorder.
  • Other Rheumatic Diseases: a person who has other rheumatic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia than those who do not have a rheumatic disease.
  • Stress: although controversial, certain studies suggest that people who have had difficult or stressful past experiences may be at risk of developing fibromyalgia.

Fibro and Massage

Massage for fibromyalgia pain can be very beneficial when you work with a licensed massage therapists that understands fibromyalgia and how to provide tender point pain relief.

According to several research studies at The University Of Miami School of Medicine, Touch Research Institute, massage therapy provides the following benefits to fibromyalgia patients: increased serotonin level, decreased circulating stress hormones, decreased levels of substance P (basically a pain messenger), decreased tender point pain, improved sleep patterns, and improved overall sense of well-being.

In short, massage therapy, in conjunction with the treatment plan prescribed by a physician, can help fibromyalgia pain relief. This is because when you suffer from pain — especially chronic pain — your body can’t relax. And when your body can’t relax and regenerate, it exacerbates the pain cycle. Two studies confirm that massage helps fibromyalgia:

  • The Touch Research Institute study found that massage helped improve fibromyalgia patients’ moods.
  • The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association found that patients with fibromyalgia reported sleeping better with regular massage: they began sleeping for longer periods at a time and were disturbed less by sleep disorders. With more restful sleep, their moods improved.

How often should you get massage for fibromyalgia pain? There is no one answer for everyone. It will depend on your health history. What we do know is you’ll get better results if you are on a regular schedule — whether it’s monthly, weekly, or some other formula that works for you.

Whatever regular schedule you determine, know that fibro and massage are a good combination: massage helps minimize your physical pain and alleviates the stress and anxiety associated with it.

Find out for yourself how massage can help fibromyalgia pain.