Connective Tissue Massage and Exercise Aid with Fibromyalgia
Connective Tissue Massage and Exercise Aid with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by chronic muscle pain that lacks an obvious physical cause, it is thought to be a genetic issue. Massages are a powerful relaxing tool that help relieve muscular tension. Therapists skilled in the art of massaging apply various types of massages to patients with fibromyalgia.
There is an intense debate between physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors and fibromyalgia sufferers regarding the benefits of therapeutic massages. There is a wide range of different opinions about the possible improvement or pain relief caused by massages. Some physicians have stated that they are very satisfied with the results obtained by their patients, others totally disbelieve the possibility that massages of any kind improve the symptoms.
On the other side, patients have a very varied array of opinions, surveys show different results so it depends on the way each patient responds to each treatment. Since many people with fibromyalgia display other conditions such as: scoliosis, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, etc. that may cause back pain and general discomfort, the best decision is that the patient tries some massages sessions before pointing out true benefits they offer to that specific patient.
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Mixed up experiences patients have had with massages
The following observations are some of the information patients who have tried different types of massages have stated. It is important to keep into account that if someone suffering from fibromyalgia is looking after some pain relief, they should try different options since none of them have the same effect in all patients.
- Common relaxing massages work for some patients, but in others they take too much time to do any kind of effect. It is usually more of a sacrifice than a relief.
- Lymphatic massages are also very helpful for some patients, while others may not see any kind of results.
- Be especially careful with chiropractors, they can be a little too rude.
- Warm massages with balsamic oils can offer excellent results for some patients. Although they may be a little more expensive than common massages, they have shown to offer some pain relief to all patients that try them.
- Volcanic stones and thermal mud are very fancy but in most cases they offer poor benefits.
- Thermal baths combined with massages are a very helpful practice. Many patients have found great pain relief that can last up to a couple of months so they decide to pay some of these massages frequently.
- Probably the most effective method for most patients is hydrotherapy, as well as some spas that have massaging chairs that help relaxing cervical and lumbar areas as well as the dorsal spine.
The effects of connective tissue massages
A more specific method of massaging, focussing connective tissue is becoming more popular due to the effects it has in some patients. These connective tissue massages are usually combined with specific exercises to reduce back pressure.
Researchers developed an entire process to evaluate the level of effectiveness of this method. The evaluation consisted of establishing 6-week exercise regimes but some patients received connective tissue massages as well. It was done this way to determine whether connective tissue massages had an improving effect in the exercise regimes that were already proved to be helpful.
These were the conclusions made by physicians after the tests were done:
- Most participants from the group that only practiced exercises reported some pain relief as they always do, being able to sleep better and reducing fatigue. Some days improvement felt better than other days but fatigue, morning tiredness, episodes of anxiety and stiffness were still present. Other problems such as depression and general discomfort did not show any kind of improvement.
- On the other side, patients that did exercises accompanied by connective tissue massages showed improvement regarding sleep problems, fatigue and pain as well but there were extra benefits since these group also showed a significant improvement in physical health, reduced depression, morning stiffness and felt way better throughout the day,
Possibly the most remarkable piece of information gathered by these tests is that none of the people who were treated with exercise and connective tissue massages had any kind of adverse consequence, just improvement in regards to the general discomfort the condition makes them feel.
Options that can be practiced at home
Many people do not have access to a chiropractor or a professional therapist to give them massages, in these cases they usually ask a relative to give them massages instead. These are some popular techniques that can be practiced at home:
Alexander’s technique consists of an extremely gentle massage that focuses on improving posture and movements as muscle tension is released. It requires a strong bond between thoughts and patient’s movements.
This massage technique consists of a gentle touch with a wavy motion on the muscles that are misaligned, to make them return to their place. Muscles usually take a week to respond to this treatment.
This technique is a body activity that strengthens the communication between the body and the brain. The movements are slow and smooth and the goal is to correct bad posture alignments.
Manual lymphatic drainage
This massage technique drains the lymphatic ducts to remove obstructions. This method stimulates the lymphatic system and reduces tension and swelling of sore areas.
Spraying and stretching method
This therapy helps the patient learn to release stressed muscles with the use of a cooling spray. The aerosol inhibits muscle tension and the therapist stretches the muscle a little, between one spray application and the next.
It is important to try different options and stick to the one that offers better results for each patient. The positive effect caused by connective tissue massages may trigger new researches on treatments focussing these areas to help relieve pain and other symptoms displayed by people with fibromyalgia.
Remember that the help of an expert is an excellent option to avoid health problems. Here at Parkwood Green Medical we will assist you and help you adopt proper dietary habits that will ensure you feel fine.