Can Massage Therapy Help Fibromyalgia?

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a common condition which affects the bones and muscles, characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, problems sleeping, and various cognitive difficulties.

Symptoms include:
  • Muscle pain
  • A burning sensation in the muscles
  • Tender points
  • Heavy fatigue
  • Brain fog e.g. trouble concentrating / remembering
  • Insomnia
  • Poor quality sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling depressed

massage for fibromyalgia crystal palace

Although not entirely understood, research suggests that the cause is inflammation of the central nervous system. To be more specific, it is thought that the cause is sustained activation of glial cells and increased levels of various inflammatory substances. (Albrecht et al. 2018).

Because of the high level of neuro-inflammation the nervous system becomes hyper-vigilant, resulting pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties.

Is Massage Recommended?

An increasing number of practice guidelines are now recommending massage therapy to be used part of a range of therapies to help patients with Fybromyalgia (Busse et al. 2017, Skelly et al. 2018). When integrated with standard care, massage therapy may help to control symptoms, provide pain relief, and reduce the anxiety that comes with the condition.

How Does Massage Therapy Help?

Massage brings about a range of positive responses, both physiological and psychological. Favourable outcomes that have been observed may be explained by a selection of overlapping responses in the periphery, the spinal cord, and the brain, including the modulation of spinal and supra-spinal reflex excitability (inhibition of nociceptive processing and activation of descending inhibitory mechanisms), and modulation neuro-immune responses (Espejo et al. 2018).

If you suffer from Fibromyalgia yourself, or you know someone who does, then massage therapy may be worth considering to control the symptoms and alleviate the pain.

(This blog post is meant as an educational tool only. It is not a replacement for medical advice from a qualified and registered health professional.)

Crystal Palace Massage
10 Westow St
Crystal Palace
Upper Norwood
SE19 3AH

Tel: 07412 897 490