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Massage Therapy Benefits and Effectiveness in Treating Fibromyalgia

Posted on September 27, 2015 at 11:10 AM



Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].




Effectiveness of different styles of massage therapy in fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Review published: 2014.



Bibliographic details: Yuan SL, Matsutani LA, Marques AP. Effectiveness of different styles of massage therapy in fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Manual Therapy 2014: epub. [PubMed]





The systematic review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of massage in fibromyalgia. An electronic search was conducted at MEDLINE, SCiELO, EMBASE, ISI, PEDro, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, Cochrane CENTRAL and LILACS (Jan 1990-May 2013). Ten randomized and non-randomized controlled trials investigating the effects of massage alone on symptoms and health-related quality of life of adult patients with fibromyalgia were included. Two reviewers independently screened records, examined full-text reports for compliance with the eligibility criteria, and extracted data. Meta-analysis (pooled from 145 participants) shows that myofascial release had large, positive effects on pain and medium effects on anxiety and depression at the end of treatment, in contrast with placebo; effects on pain and depression were maintained in the medium and short term, respectively. Narrative analysis suggests that: myofascial release also improves fatigue, stiffness and quality of life; connective tissue massage improves depression and quality of life; manual lymphatic drainage is superior to connective tissue massage regarding stiffness, depression and quality of life; Shiatsu improves pain, pressure pain threshold, fatigue, sleep and quality of life; and Swedish massage does not improve outcomes. There is moderate evidence that myofascial release is beneficial for fibromyalgia symptoms. Limited evidence supports the application of connective tissue massage and Shiatsu. Manual lymphatic drainage may be superior to connective tissue massage, and Swedish massage may have no effects. Overall, most styles of massage therapy consistently improved the quality of life of fibromyalgia patients.


Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Logo of Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK)


CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.


Copyright © 2014 University of York.


PMID: 25457196


Categories: None

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