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Understanding Fibromyalgia and How Massage Therapy Can Help

Updated: Mar 28

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in localised areas. It affects millions of people worldwide, and its exact cause remains elusive. While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are various treatments and therapies that can help manage its symptoms and improve the quality of life for those affected. One such beneficial therapy is massage.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder that primarily affects the muscles and soft tissues. Common symptoms include:

  • Widespread pain: The pain associated with fibromyalgia is often described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months.

  • Fatigue: People with fibromyalgia often wake up tired, even after a full night's sleep.

  • Cognitive difficulties: This is often referred to as "fibro fog," which can impair concentration and memory.

  • Sleep disturbances: Many people with fibromyalgia experience sleep disorders such as insomnia or restless leg syndrome.

How Can Massage Help?

Massage therapy is a hands-on technique that involves manipulating the body's soft tissues to relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, and promote relaxation. While more research is needed to fully understand the benefits of massage for fibromyalgia, many people with the condition report significant relief from their symptoms after undergoing regular massage treatments. Here's how massage can help:

Pain Relief

Massage can help alleviate muscle stiffness and reduce pain by increasing blood flow to the affected areas. This improved circulation can help reduce inflammation, which can contribute to pain relief.

Improved Sleep Quality

Many people with fibromyalgia struggle with sleep disturbances, which can exacerbate their symptoms. Massage therapy promotes relaxation and can help regulate sleep patterns, leading to improved sleep quality and overall well-being.

Stress Reduction

Stress can trigger or worsen fibromyalgia symptoms. Massage therapy promotes relaxation and reduces stress by releasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood elevators. This can help manage stress levels and improve the body's response to pain.

Increased Range of Motion

Fibromyalgia can cause stiffness and reduced flexibility in the joints and muscles. Regular massage therapy can help increase joint mobility, improve flexibility, and enhance overall range of motion, making daily activities easier and less painful.


While fibromyalgia is a complex and challenging condition to manage, incorporating massage therapy into a comprehensive treatment plan can offer significant relief from its debilitating symptoms. By promoting relaxation, reducing pain, improving sleep quality, and enhancing overall well-being, massage can be a valuable tool in managing fibromyalgia and improving the quality of life for those affected.

If you or someone you know is living with fibromyalgia, consider exploring the benefits of massage therapy as part of a holistic approach to managing this chronic condition. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment or therapy to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.

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