Do you have fibromyalgia in Lexington? Fibromyalgia, is a relatively new diagnosis describing chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue, was first introduced in 1976. Since its introduction, it has been estimated that 2-6% of the United States population has been designated with this diagnosis. Of the 2-6% of people diagnosed, woman are affected at significantly higher rates then men. It has even been estimated that as high as 85% of people suffering from fibromyalgia are woman. Some preposed theories for why woman are affected at such higher rates than men have included differences in hormones and possible genetic differences that are present at birth. Despite high rates of occurrence, the cause of fibromyalgia remains poorly understood. Proposed causes have included; hereditary factors, stress, hormonal imbalances, illness, trauma, and a seemingly endless list of other possibilities. Largely due to the vast number of potential causes, western medical practitioners have struggled with treating this clinical syndrome, relying heavily on medications to treat pain and fatigue symptoms. As a result, many patients have turned to alternative medical treatments, including massage therapy, for relief.
How Can Massage Therapy Help Fibromyalgia?
To understand how massage therapy can help people suffering from fibromyalgia, it’s important to understand that fibromyalgia is not a disease and therefore its treatment is much different. As mentioned earlier, fibromyalgia is a term that is used to described widespread muscular pain that lacks another explanation. Massage therapy has been recognized for thousands of years as one of the best health care solutions for providing relief of musculoskeletal pain. Massage therapy primarily works through the relaxation of damaged muscles and the release of trigger points throughout the body. By promoting proper circulation and nutrition to tissues, massage therapy is a critical factor in the healing process for sufferers of fibromyalgia.
The best technique to help a patient regain control of their fibromyalgia greatly depends on the individual person. Each persons body is unique and since fibromyalgia isn’t a disease process it manifests its self differently from person to person. While myofacial release techniques and trigger point therapies have shown promise, your massage therapist is trained in multiple specialties that can be tailored to your specific needs. Unlike one-suits-all medications, massage therapy is one of the few health care avenues that is individualized to the patient.
Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
While pain is undeniably the most common symptom of fibromyalgia, it is unfortunately not the only one. Our therapists have seen patients with symptoms ranging from a lack of sleep to weakness and fatigue. Not only does massage therapy transition your body from a state of stress to relaxation, it also has a positive effect on many of these other symptoms. Even after one therapy session, our patients have seen dramatic changes in their heart rate, breathing patterns, and muscular tension, while recording elevated levels of endorphins (natural pain killers). All of these therapeutic effects have led to improved sleep, which is often one of the biggest challenges for sufferers of fibromyalgia.
Our massage therapists have received the best education that the profession has to offer and as a result understand that fibromyalgia often leads to increased sensitivity and pain perception. Due to the nature of the syndrome, our therapists are trained in proper communication to allow you as the patient to have more control over your care. We will pay careful attention to your feedback to ensure that the appropriate level of pressure is used. If you experience pain throughout the treatment process, let our therapists know and maybe a different technique will be more suitable.
Massage therapy is unique in the fact that it often compliments other health care specialties exceptionally well. As health care professionals, we are always more than happy to steer you in the direction of additional treatment solutions. Currently, one of the most effective at home activities to speed up recovery from fibromyalgia is exercise. While exercise may be painful, massage therapy is very useful at decreasing the level of discomfort. In addition to massage therapy, chiropractic, cold laser therapy, and nutritional modification have shown promise for people suffering from fibromyalgia.
Typically, the longer you wait to receive care for your fibromyalgia, the more complicated and debilitating the syndrome gets. In contrast to more invasive treatments with a long list of side effects, massage therapy offers an affordable and safe treatment solution. If you are suffering from fibromyalgia in Lexington or would like to learn more information, please contact Eagle Creek Massage today to schedule and individualized consultation.
By Kristy Gallentine