Manual therapy may reduce fibromyalgia symptoms

manual therapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy, massage, fibromyalgia, pain, stiffness, quality of life, arthritis digest

Many people with fibromyalgia say that manual therapy improves their quality of life, and experts may now be more inclined to agree in the light of a new evidence review.

“Manual therapy is a technique where a physiotherapist uses their hands to manipulate, mobilise and massage the body tissues,” reads NHS advice. “This can help:

  • Relieve pain and stiffness
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Help fluid drain more efficiently from parts of the body
  • Improve the movement of different parts of the body
  • Promote relaxation

“Manual therapy can be used to treat specific problems, such as back pain, but may also be useful for a range of conditions that don’t affect the bones, joints or muscles.”

New findings

A research group recently looked at if there is an ideal amount of manual therapy when it comes to fibromyalgia. The team involved looked at the literature and found 12 suitable recent studies to assess.

Overall, they found there is moderate evidence that manual therapy has positive effects on pain, mood, sleep and quality of life for people with fibromyalgia. Although it is still unclear as to how much manual therapy makes a fundamental difference to symptoms, the group recommends that 45 minutes three to five times a week for three to five weeks is a good starting point.

Interested? Read more recent fibromyalgia research here.

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