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Help for Fibromyalgia & Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome are both syndromes that affects over 12 million Americans, mostly women, between the ages of 25 to 60. However, men and children can also be affected by these syndromes. Causes of these syndromes are unknown but have been linked to: stressful or traumatic events, repetitive injuries, illness, or certain diseases.

Fibromyalgia is the most misdiagnosed and misunderstood musculoskeletal condition following osteoarthritis. This syndrome affects muscles and joints causing pain and tender points located in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. Many patients complain of trouble sleeping, morning stiffness, headaches, painful menstrual periods, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, problems with thinking and memory (also known as Fibro Fog).

Myofascial Pain syndrome is also misdiagnosed and misunderstood; however, this is more of a neuromuscular disease. Unlike fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome is more localized and affects ‘trigger points’ in the body. When pressure is applied clients will have referred pain; meaning they will feel pain in other areas. Generally these ‘trigger points’ are located in the neck, shoulders, back, jaw, and head causing stiffness, tightness, and headaches. The complaints of Myofascial Pain Syndrome are the same as Fibromyalgia and that is why these two syndromes are so hard to identify.

Massage therapy helps both syndromes by encouraging blood and oxygen circulation to the muscles and joints, helping to eliminate waste and by-products produced by the muscles (lactic acid), helping to move lymph through the body, reducing the heart rate to help with relaxation and promote sleep, improving range of motion, and increasing the production of the body’s natural pain killers (endorphins, serotonin, and norepinephrine).

Any type of massage therapy is beneficial for people with Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Both Neuromuscular therapy and Myofascial Release have been shown to help decrease trigger points throughout the body. Communication between the client and a massage therapist is also very vital. The amount of pressure a client can withstand depends on sensitivity levels, tender points, trigger points, and referred pain.

Amanda Lewis is a massage therapist who helps people in chronic pain and stress. For more information you may contact her at 321-674-9900 or visit Located in historic downtown Melbourne.

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