By: Sylvia Carlson
What is fibromyalgia? It is said to be a chronic painful condition that produces musculoskeletal pain and tenderness at specific locations in the body, pain and swelling in the joints, chronic sleep problems and fatigue.
The Arthritis Society of Canada suggests that fibromyalgia affects every 3 out of 100 Canadians. Women are at least four times more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia and it typically occurs in people over age 50. Comparatively, fibromyalgia is said to affect approximately 3 to 6 million people in the U.S. today.
Why is massage therapy one of the most beneficial treatments for fibromyalgia?
Massage therapy can help to address most of the symptoms of fibromyalgia:
• increase blood circulation
• increase flexibility
• increase range of motion
• decrease stress and anxiety
• reduce pain, swelling and stiffness
• improve sleep
How Does It Help Those Living With Fibromyalgia?
The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are aches and pains of the muscles and joints, which suggest that massage therapy could be the perfect solution. Most fibromyalgia sufferers find their stiffness and aching is worse in the morning so regular massage therapy may help to loosen the joints relieving some of the symptoms.
What can you do to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia?
• Moderate the quantity and quality of physical activities
• Practice relaxation and stress management techniques
• Find a good massage therapist
• Exercise in moderation (i.e. walking, swimming, yoga)
• Use heating pad/warm showers and baths