Fibromylagia and Massage Therapy

Posted on January 11th, 2013 by Shari´ Parks

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a musculoskeletal medical condition that plagues approx 2-4% of the American population with women being affected more than men. FM symptoms include chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia and joint stiffness.

As a massage therapist I was taught that there are specific pain points, but I have discovered sensitivity to pain and pressure differs from client to client. The approach to treatment also varies. Some things FM sufferers should share with the therapist during the health history are:

* What prescriptions and/or over the counter medications have you taken today?
* Are you in a flare up? If yes, how long?
* How has the pain changed your daily activities?

When scheduling an initial session be aware the therapist should be upfront. The first session will be a learning experience for both parties, airing on caution using light to moderate pressure. With more frequent treatments, specific techniques will be applied in future sessions based on the client’s reaction to the initial treatment.

Communication during the treatment is vital. Massage therapy has been proven to be effective for FM sufferers, but it’s essential that during the session the therapist is informed of the pressure. The client should speak up when the pressure is too deep. The treatment should never be painful.

So, go ahead and schedule that next appointment with peace of mind. Massage therapy can help FM sufferers manage the pain and stiffness while improving sleep patterns.

Reference:
ABMP Massage & Bodywork magazine

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