Massage therapy for fibromyalgia symptoms.

Department of Physical Therapy, Recanati School for Community Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
Rheumatology International (Impact Factor: 1.63). 03/2010; 30(9):1151-7. DOI: 10.1007/s00296-010-1409-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

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    ABSTRACT: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common disorder increasingly recognized in clinical practice. The veracity of the disorder is bolstered by three decades of objective evidence regarding central, peripheral, autonomic and endocrine dysfunction. Recently the US Food and Drug Administration have approved agents specifically for the treatment of fibromyalgia. What is less clear is how maximize outcomes in FM by promoting self-management activities in this population. The purpose of this article is to present practical, evidence-based self-management strategies for clinicians to pair with pharmacologic management. The therapies presented here are chosen if patients can enact them without the assistance of a therapist or practitioner and they are supported by extant literature. These include maximizing the relationship with the practitioner, pain management, self-administered cognitive behavioral strategies, exercise, dietary approaches and sleep management. Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common and debilitating multi-symptomatic illness that can be challenging for busy clinicians to adequately treat. Although there are now FDA approved medications for the treatment of FM, they have limited efficacy and tolerability in many patients. Optimal care relies heavily on a providerÁpatient partnership in which the patient assumes responsibility for self-management 1 while the provider's role is accurate diagnosis and medical management.
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    ABSTRACT: The systematic review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of massage in fibromyalgia. An electronic search was conducted at MEDLINE, SCiELO, EMBASE, ISI, PEDro, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, Cochrane CENTRAL and LILACS (Jan1990-May2013). Ten randomized and non-randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of massage alone on symptoms and health-related quality of life of adult patients with fibromyalgia were included. Two reviewers independently screened records, examined full-text reports for compliance with the eligibility criteria, and extracted data. Meta-analysis (pooled from 145 participants) shows that myofascial release had large, positive effects on pain and medium effects on anxiety and depression at the end of treatment, in contrast with placebo; effects on pain and depression were maintained in the medium and short term, respectively. Narrative analysis suggests that: myofascial release also improves fatigue, stiffness and quality of life; connective tissue massage improves depression and quality of life; manual lymphatic drainage is superior to connective tissue massage regarding stiffness, depression and quality of life; Shiatsu improves pain, pressure pain threshold, fatigue, sleep and quality of life; and Swedish massage does not improve outcomes. There is moderate evidence that myofascial release is beneficial for fibromyalgia symptoms. Limited evidence supports the application of connective tissue massage and Shiatsu. Manual lymphatic drainage may be superior to connective tissue massage, and Swedish massage may have no effects. Overall, most styles of massage therapy consistently improved the quality of life of fibromyalgia patients.
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