Massage therapy and other touch therapies, including craniosacral and myofascial release, have been found through research to reduce pain, anxiety and stiffness associated with fibromyalgia.

A new study shows that a health care program that included massage therapy, ischemic pressure on the 18 tender points, aerobic exercise and thermal therapy resulted in “significant” improvement in overall health perception, social functioning, grip strength and a walking test among fibromyalgia patients.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a multidisciplinary treatment program in patients severely affected by fibromyalgia, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.

Thirty-four fibromyalgia patients were randomly divided into two groups. The control group: 17 women who continued their medical treatment and participated in four educational sessions and the experimental group that included 17 patients who besides the former medical treatment also underwent a weekly one-hour session program for eight weeks including massage therapy, ischemic pressure on the 18 tender points, aerobic exercise and thermal therapy, according to the abstract.

At the beginning of the program, there were no significant differences between the two groups in any of the parameters. At the end of treatment, there was a significant improvement in the experimental group in the following items: vitality, social functioning, grip strength and the six-minute walk test, according to the abstract.

“In conclusion, patients with severe manifestations of fibromyalgia can obtain improvement with a short-term, low-cost and simple-delivery multidisciplinary program,” the investigators noted. “However, additional studies including higher numbers of patients are needed to confirm the beneficial effect of this treatment program.”

“Efficacy of a multidisciplinary treatment program in patients with severe fibromyalgia” was conducted by investigators at the Rheumatology Service at the Specialist Clinic of Cantabria, Santander, Cantabria, Spain, and will run in Rheumatology International.

Related articles:

Myofascial Release Lessens Pain and Anxiety in Fibromyalgia Patients

Massage Improves Sleep, Decreases Pain and Substance P in Fibromyalgia Patients

CranioSacral Therapy Reduces Fibromyalgia Patients’ Pain

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