Fibromyalgia syndrome is a complexed condition characterized by chronic widespread pain in muscles, soft tissue and joints; painful and tender skin; shooting pains; restless legs and muscle weakness and a cluster of other symptoms including anxiety, brain fog, depression, IBS, sleep disturbance, stiffness, and chronic fatigue 1, 2

Affecting 2% to 5% of the population, fibromyalgia has been identified as one of the most economically burdensome conditions.3-8  Patients often seek symptomatic relief from multiple medical and complementary and alternative treatments.9-12 Around 90% of individuals with fibromyalgia have used at least one form of complementary and alternative treatments to manage their symptoms 13, 14

A systematic review and meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT’s) evaluating the effectiveness of massage therapy for fibromyalgia showed massage therapy with duration ≥5 weeks had beneficial immediate effects on improving pain, anxiety, and depression in patients with fibromyalgia.

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When treating Fibromyalgia it is important to understand the central sensitisation that occurs in this condition. The sympathetic nervous system is in a persistent state of high sensitivity; which results in the spinal cord and brain acting like a faulty amplifier that turns up the volume of any pain signals. Treatment that is too intense may trigger the warning system and make things worse. However, gentle massage, myofascial release, gentle stretching and acupressure can be very helpful.

The University Of Miami School of Medicine’s Touch Research Institute, has conducted various studies regarding the benefits of massage therapy. In a study geared to fibromyalgia patients, it was concluded that massage therapy provided the following benefits: increased serotonin level, decreased circulating stress hormones, decreased levels of substance P (a pain messenger), decreased tender point pain, improved sleep patterns, and improved overall sense of well-being. The principal investigators stated that massage therapy is a clinically significant complementary treatment for fibromyalgia. 15

To find out more about Massage Therapy at York Clinic please visit the Massage page or call reception on 01904 709688 to book an appointment


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