Fibromyalgia and Massage

08 February 2023

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a pain syndrome that encompasses a group of symptoms and signs and affects muscles, tendons and ligaments.

It is a chronic syndrome that involves sleep disorders and presents an unpredictability in the soft tissues.

It is usually diagnosed when all other conditions and diseases have been ruled out. Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome and migraines are often seen as part of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disorder, viral or bacterial infection, fungal infection or a result of direct injury but rather a complicated issue comprising a combination of factors and problems. It is a lifelong condition.

Signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia

  • widespread pain
  • pain that moves and shifts to different areas of the body
  • fatigue
  • difficulty entering the deepest stages of sleep
  • low pain tolerance
  • different pains, from burning to tingling to aching
  • pain intensity varies
  • stiff body after resting and inactivity
  • good days and bad days

Who can get fibromyalgia?

Women make up the vast majority of people with fibromyalgia. The diagnosis seems to increase with age. All the economic groups can be affected by it.

How can massage help fibromyalgia?

Massage can help with relaxation of the soft tissues and reducing pain. Trigger point therapy can be used to identify areas of tenderness. No deep tissue massage should be applied because this can be too painful. Massage should only be gentle for anyone with fibromyalgia due to patients generally being hypersensitive. It is easy to over treat but correct techniques can help manage the disorder and allow for a normal life. Ice should be avoided as it can exacerbate symptoms. Massage can assist with mental well-being by reducing stress and increasing levels of serotonin.

Patients should help themselves with good nutrition, exercise, sleep routines and gentle stretching.

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Author: Cross Massage Therapy