Massage therapy for fibromyalgia symptoms
- 1.6k Downloads
Massage therapy is widely used by patients with fibromyalgia seeking symptom relief. We performed a review of all available studies with an emphasis on randomized controlled trials to determine whether massage therapy can be a viable treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms. Extensive narrative review. PubMed, PsychInfo, CINAHL, PEDro, ISI Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases (inception-December 2009) were searched for the key words “massage”, “massotherapy”, “self-massage”, “soft tissue manipulation”, “soft tissue mobilization”, “complementary medicine”, “fibromyalgia” “fibrositis”, and “myofascial pain”. No language restrictions were imposed. The reference lists of all articles retrieved in full were also searched. The effects of massage on fibromyalgia symptoms have been examined in two single-arm studies and six randomized controlled trials. All reviewed studies showed short-term benefits of massage, and only one single-arm study demonstrated long-term benefits. All reviewed studies had methodological problems. The existing literature provides modest support for use of massage therapy in treating fibromyalgia. Additional rigorous research is needed in order to establish massage therapy as a safe and effective intervention for fibromyalgia. In massage therapy of fibromyalgia, we suggest that massage will be painless, its intensity should be increased gradually from session to session, in accordance with patient’s symptoms; and the sessions should be performed at least 1–2 times a week.
KeywordsFibromyalgia Massage Pain Depression Review
Conflict of interest statement
The author has no conflict of interest regarding the contents of this article.
- 2.Clauw DJ (2001) Elusive syndromes: treating the biologic basis of fibromyalgia and related syndromes. Cleve Clin J Med 68(830):832–834Google Scholar
- 10.Ejindu A (2007) The effects of foot and facial massage on sleep induction, blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate: crossover pilot study. Complem Ther Clin Pract 13:266–275. doi: S1744-3881(07)00030-8[pii]10.1016/j.ctcp.2007.03.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 13.Cherkin DC, Eisenberg D, Sherman KJ, Barlow W, Kaptchuk TJ, Street J, Deyo RA (2001) Randomized trial comparing traditional Chinese medical acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and self-care education for chronic low back pain. Arch Intern Med 161:1081–1088. doi: ioi00717[pii] CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 14.Hsieh CY, Phillips RB, Adams AH, Pope MH (1992) Functional outcomes of low back pain: comparison of four treatment groups in a randomized controlled trial. J Manip Physiol Ther 15:4–9Google Scholar
- 18.Gordon C, Emiliozzi C, Zartarian M (2006) Use of a mechanical massage technique in the treatment of fibromyalgia: a preliminary study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 87:145–147. doi: S0003-9993(05)01192-5[pii]10.1016/j.apmr.2005.08.125 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 20.Citak-Karakaya I, Akbayrak T, Demirturk F, Ekici G, Bakar Y (2006) Short and long-term results of connective tissue manipulation and combined ultrasound therapy in patients with fibromyalgia. J Manip Physiol Ther 29:524–528. doi: S0161-4754(06)00178-3[pii]10.1016/j.jmpt.2006.06.019 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 24.Lund I, Lundeberg T, Carleson J, Sonnerfors H, Uhrlin B, Svensson E (2006) Corticotropin releasing factor in urine—a possible biochemical marker of fibromyalgia. Responses to massage and guided relaxation. Neurosci Lett 403:166–171. doi: S0304-3940(06)00429-0[pii]10.1016/j.neulet.2006.04.038 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 25.Ekici G, Bakar Y, Akbayrak T, Yuksel I (2009) Comparison of manual lymph drainage therapy and connective tissue massage in women with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. J Manip Physiol Ther 32:127–133. doi: S0161-4754(08)00352-7[pii]10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.12.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 29.Danneskiold-Samsøe B, Christiansen E, Lund B, Andersen B (1982) Regional muscle tension and pain (“Fibrositis”). Scand J Rehabil Med 15:17–20Google Scholar
- 33.Furlan AD, Imamura M, Dryden T, Irvin E (2008) Massage for low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev: CD001929. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub2