Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal condition that can cause intense pain all over the body, sleep issues, mental health decline, and more. While it’s an incredibly common condition, it's often misunderstood or misdiagnosed. Unfortunately, at this time there is no cure for fibromyalgia; however research continues into its origins and ways to treat it.
If you’re living with fibromyalgia, finding ways to manage symptoms as best as you can is crucial. You may find that simple lifestyle changes like incorporating massage therapy for fibromyalgia may make a positive impact on your overall health. Join us as we continue exploring fibromyalgia and massage for pain relief.
Consult your doctor before starting any new methods for how to treat fibromyalgia (including massage therapy for fibromyalgia) to ensure it’s safe for you to do so.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Even though it’s an extremely common health ailment affecting roughly 4 million adults in the United States, fibromyalgia is frequently misdiagnosed or misunderstood to be osteoarthritis. While the two health conditions do share many similar characteristics, fibromyalgia is separate.
Fibromyalgia is an incurable, chronic health condition causing pain all over the body (often referred to as ‘widespread pain’), physical fatigue, mental distress, and sleep disorders. It went overlooked and undiagnosed in many for decades because there are no lab or image tests available at this time to empirically diagnose someone.
As medical health professionals begin to understand fibromyalgia and recognize its symptoms more, they’re able to prescribe treatment methods that may help manage pain levels and provide relief. This is how fibromyalgia and massage have become linked so closely. As with any chronic illness, individual treatment methods should be discussed and prescribed by a medical professional, so be sure to speak to your doctor before beginning any new treatment techniques.
Are There Fibromyalgia Causes?
While the causes of fibromyalgia remain unknown at this time, there are a few commonalities associated with a higher risk of developing the condition including:
- Being a woman (women outnumber men with fibromyalgia by a ratio of 9:1)
- Mood disorders such as anxiety or depression
- Sedentary lifestyles
- Suffering from the effects of PTSD
- Possible genetic predisposition for those with fibromyalgia in their family
Other possible causes of fibromyalgia often associated with elevated risk include arthritis and other age related diseases. It could be that certain infections may play a role in an increased risk, as well.
What Are the Signs of Fibromyalgia?
As many symptoms of fibromyalgia overlap with similar conditions such as osteoarthritis, many adults with the condition go undiagnosed. Some of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Pain and stiffness all over the body (widespread pain)
- Chronic fatigue and tiredness
- Headaches or migraines
- Feelings of depression or anxiety
- Difficulties with concentrating or recalling things from memory
- Sleep problems like insomnia
In addition to these common symptoms, other fibromyalgia symptoms may include feelings similar to those requiring pinched nerve relief such as tingling or numbness in your hands or feet, digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), or jaw pain.
The Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Massage
How does massage help fibromyalgia, you’re wondering? Chances are you’re familiar with how full body massages reduce stress and relax the body. The potential benefits of massage therapy for fibromyalgia may provide pain relief, stress management, and other improvements to your symptoms, as well.
Whether you’re making regular appointments with a trained massage therapist or experiencing the benefits of massage therapy at home using a luxury massage chair, getting a massage is more than just an indulgence. Studies have even shown that massage may have immediate effects on improving pain, anxiety, and depression in patients with fibromyalgia.
Regular massages are great ways to routinely take care of both your mental and physical health if you’re suffering from fibromyalgia. For those unable to fit massage therapist appointments into their busy schedules or who don’t want the mounting costs of visits weighing on their wallets, many people are turning to the benefits of owning a massage chair.
The best massage techniques for fibromyalgia patients combine kneading, pressure, stretching and the benefits of heat therapy. Since the best full body massage chairs are able to offer a variety of different types of massage programs, those living with fibromyalgia can easily choose the right one to fit their needs. Pairing a massage chair with the benefits of lymphatic drainage self massage may help flush your body of lingering toxins, improving fibromyalgia symptoms, as well.
Heated massage chairs with AI massage technology are the most adept at providing exactly the massage experience a patient needs. AI massage chairs use two different types of body scanning technology to analyze biofeedback from your emotional and physical state to give you a unique experience each session.
Other potential benefits linking fibromyalgia and massage include a massage chair’s ability to potentially increase flexibility for connective tissue and improve the mobility of muscle groups. Gentle stretching massage chair programs work to alleviate pain while restoring muscle health.
From a mental health standpoint, massage chair features like heat therapy, chromotherapy, and zero gravity reclining capability may work together to lower cortisol levels naturally. When we experience pain, our stress levels rise. The potential pain relief and stress management qualities of massage work in tandem to aid in managing symptoms. This is why fibromyalgia and massage therapy are so often linked by professionals when discussing possible treatment options.
Note: Be sure to consult your doctor before trying massage therapy for fibromyalgia to ensure it’s safe for you to do with your specific condition.
As you have now learned, fibromyalgia and massage for pain relief often go hand-in-hand. While there’s no cure for this chronic health condition, choosing a massage chair for home use may help manage symptoms and provide you more comfort in your daily life. As experts continue to study and learn more about this disease, we hope the future provides us a better understanding of its origins and effective methods for a cure!
Want to learn more about the potential benefits of using a massage chair for health and wellness? Check out these additional resources to see how a luxury massage chair may enhance your lifestyle: