Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects the bones and muscles. Its main symptoms include widespread muscle and joint pain and fatigue. However, for those living with this condition, their are many more symptoms that effect them on a daily basis. Another symptom fibromyalgia sufferers face is known as "fibro flares". A flare can have flu-like pain, general fatigue, and mild depression. Seasonal changes can also effect the type of symptoms that a person with this condition may have, for example in the summer tender point pain may increase or stormy weather can cause a tight upper neck along with forehead/head pain.
One of the things that can greatly benefit a person suffering from this condition is massage therapy. When massage therapy is used as a regular part of a persons pain management plan it tends have a great impact on multiple facets of their life and treatment. According to massage therapy research done on fibromyalgia patients by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami school of Medicine, massage therapy offered multiple benefits for the patients like increased serotonin production and decreased tender point pain and more. Let's take a look at what some of the benefits of massage therapy are for those with chronic pain and fibromyalgia.
1. Reduce pain and muscle tension- Fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition meaning it primarily effects the muscular tissue and bones. Massage therapy helps to relax the muscle while allowing an increase in blood and lymph circulation that carries much needed oxygen to the muscle and body. Massage therapy also helps the body to break down and release build up of lactic acid in the muscle. Massage therapy also helps to release built up muscle tension that causes pain. Research shows that massage therapy can help decrease tender point pain in fibromyalgia sufferers as well.
2. Improved Sleep Patterns- When you are a person who suffers from a chronic pain condition like fibromyalgia, it can be hard to get a good nights sleep. When you are in pain it cab be difficult to sleep and the pain keeps you awake or if you do sleep it is not the deep restorative sleep the body needs. Massage therapy can help improve the sleep patterns of these clients. Massage therapy increases serotonin which in turn helps the body produce the hormone Melatonin, this is the hormone that signals your brain when it is time to sleep or wake.
3. Increased Serotonin and Endorphins- Human touch, including massage therapy, stimulates the release of endorphins, the bodies natural pain killers, and serotonin, the "feel good" neurotransmitter. Massage therapy causes a state of deep relaxation, which helps to lower blood pressure, stress, and help with anxiety and depression.
4. Decreased Fatigue- With an increase in serotonin and improved sleep quality you are likely to see a reduction in fatigue as well. Having more restful, deep, therapeutic sleep is going to make you feel much more refreshed and you are going to have more energy.
5. Overall Increased Sense of Well-being- For fibromyalgia sufferers having reduced pain, better sleep, less fatigue, and generally feeling better is going to increase feelings of well-being. By making massage therapy a regular part of a comprehensive treatment plan, people suffering from chronic pain conditions like fibromyaglgia can experience relief and feel better over-all.