Friday, October 12, 2012

Human Touch: Soft Tissue and Massage Therapy in Chronic Pain Conditions

Massage therapy can be very beneficial when the right technique is artfully executed by an intuitive and skilled therapist. Touch and hands-on methods are a good adjunctive therapy in treatment of fibromyalgia, joint pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgias, and other musculoskeletal disorders from head to toe. The myofascia (muscle covering) is connected throughout the entire body, therefore addressing local restrictions may help with pain in other areas of the body and massage therapists understand this relationship.

If myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is present, as seen in many disorders from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue/myalgic encephalomyelitis, migraine, spinal degeneration, interstitial cystitis, irritable bladder, arthritic joints, post surgical scaring, etc, a specialized myofascial trigger point therapist is recommended. 

Myofascial pain syndrome is a great peripheral pain generator adding to the amplification of pain and upsets in brain orchestration seen in fibromyalgia, and though centralization is not discussed in chronic fatigue syndrome, there is also a brain manifestation leaving these patients at risk for many of the overlapping disorders seen in both FM and CFS and each other.  Myofascial trigger points, knotted up pieces of muscle fiber that can be easily felt unless behind bone or other muscles, they radiate pain and other symptoms in a specific pattern according to their location.  Myofascial trigger points are great neurological imitators, and prevalent in many pain disabilities. More information on MPS, FM and CFS/ME can be found at under the disorder/diseases tab.

If you do not tolerate myofascial manipulation, gentle massage and stretch is indicated in the beginning. More pain does not indicate more gain in all cases. A good therapist will know this and work with you. The feedback we provide our brain teaches it how to respond, and it is important to know it will react according to how we teach it. Certainly, we wouldn't put a child on a bicycle without first using training wheels.

The greatest consideration is that your massage therapist becertified by a peer reviewed organization,  or in your state if your state requires such certification.

Particular hands-on therapies are discussed at length in Integrative Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, ChronicFatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, and the resource section is one of the most extensive available.

Paying it forward for chronic pain and neuro-endocrine-immune disorders. Celeste, RN, author, pain patient/activist, educator, and fibromyalgia health expert.

About the books written for you:

Contributing author to FibromyalgiaInsider Secrets: 10 Top Experts, 2nd Ed. 

All blogs, posts and answers are not meant to replace medical advice.

1 comment:

Absolute Vitality Spa said...

Great massage therapy, it can be very beneficial when the right technique is artfully executed by skilled therapist.

Tempe Massage

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
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