Does Massage Therapy Help With Fibromyalgia?

Does Massage Therapy Help With Fibromyalgia?


Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal illness that affects approximately 5 million people all across the world. It is a disease that affects women more than men and is characterised by increasing pains throughout the body, fatigue, stiffness, tension headaches and sleeping disorders. Despite the cause of fibromyalgia still being unknown and there being no definite cure, there are several ways to gain relief from its symptoms, especially the pain.

What is known about Fibromyalgia?

There are about 18 tender points that are also known as pressure points which are used to help the therapists and physicians diagnose patients with fibromyalgia. Tension in the connective tissues and skeletal muscles decreases the muscular elasticity of those suffering from this chronic illness. This in turn decreases the body’s arterial supply of blood while activating the pain receptors.

Can Massage Therapy help?

Several treatments help in alleviating the pain and symptoms of this disease. One of the best treatments that are often recommended to gain immense relief from fibromyalgia is massage therapy. Massage therapy enables the patient to gain relief in calf muscle aches while also decreasing the stress hormones and increasing the serotonin levels of the body. This combined action of all these forces brings a sense of well-being to the patient.

The combination of heat, kneading, pressure, and stretching forms the best massage techniques for fibromyalgia patients. This enables the loosening of the tensions that are built up in the muscles and tissues, thus, increasing the mobility of the body enabling them to take on and enjoy more physical activities and tasks. Massage therapy also increases the circulation of blood in the body thus increasing its ability to flush out toxins built up in the muscles.

NOTE: A proper consultation with a physician is necessary for patients before receiving massage therapy for fibromyalgia. As the muscles tend to be extremely sensitive in this condition, it is necessary for them to receive gentle pressure-based massages.


How does massage therapy benefit patients suffering from fibromyalgia?

Here is how this form of massages can help:

  • Relaxation and improved sleep:Evening massage therapy sessions help patients improve their sleep quality at night. This allows the body to recover more quickly.
  • Improvement in muscle tone:Massage therapy enables the strengthening of the lax muscles while restoring the vitality and strength of the patient’s body.
  • Enhancement in mental clarity: Massage therapy sessions help in raising health awareness while reducing mental stress for patients.
  • Decrease in headaches: Massage therapy plays a vital role in improving blood flow to the brain that helps alleviate the physical source of headaches for fibromyalgia patients. It also helps in keeping the patient’s mind in a healthier space.


Hot stone massages, Swedish massages, and Myofascial releases are the most commonly prescribes types of massage therapies for patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Receiving continuous massages at regular intervals helps in curbing this pain to a great extent. Passive stretching and sports massage are also recommended from time to time.

Another alternative to massage therapy is the use of a massage chair. It makes an excellent option for those suffering from this disease as it is extremely cost-effective for those who need therapy for a long duration of time.

Fibromyalgia sufferers are forced to cope with the disease’s symptoms, but thankfully a simple therapy such as massage therapy can provide relief.

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