Many fibromyalgia patients turn to massage therapy for assistance with symptoms that include pain and tenderness.

New research shows inactive and overweight people are at greater risk of developing fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread pain lasting more than three months, and tender point sites in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms and legs.

“According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, fibromyalgia has been linked to stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents, repetitive injuries, illness, certain diseases, or fibromyalgia can occur spontaneously,” noted a report published on www.pubmed.gov. “Some scientists speculate that a gene or genes might be involved in fibromyalgia that could make a person react strongly to things that other people would not find painful.”

Longitudinal studies have shown that physical exercise is associated with less stiff or painful joints and less musculoskeletal pain among aging women, the report noted.

The study is published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.

“Women who reported exercising [four] times per week had a 29 percent lower risk of fibromyalgia compared with inactive women,” said lead research Paul Mork, D.Phil. “Similar results were found in the analysis of the summary score combining information on frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise; women with the highest exercise level had a somewhat lower risk than inactive women.

“The study further shows that a high BMI (i.e., being overweight or obese) is a strong and independent risk factor for future development of fibromyalgia,” he added.

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