Exercise Plus Connective Tissue Massage Improves Quality of Life, Study Finds

Exercise Plus Connective Tissue Massage Improves Quality of Life, Study Finds
Exercise in combination with connective tissue massage helps decrease pain, fatigue and sleep problems, and increases the health status and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia, a new study shows. The study reporting the results, “A comparison of the effects of exercises plus connective tissue massage to exercises alone in women with fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized controlled trial,” was published in the journal Rheumatology International. Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, has symptoms that include reduced physical strength, fatigue, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and psychiatric disorders, all of which contribute to a diminished quality of life for many patients. As there is no known cause or cure, treatment is directed toward relief of symptoms, which usually entails either medicines or physical therapy, such as exercise. Connective tissue massage (CTM) is a manual therapy technique that can be used for the treatment of symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. CTM produces mechanical effects on a subset of immune cells, which leads to an increase in the diameter of blood vessels and helps the body’s parasympathetic, also known as “rest-and-digest,” activity take over by decreasing the sympathetic or “flight-or-fight” activity. Thus, the massage allows an improvement in blood circulation and promotes tissue healing. To date, only one study has evaluated the use of CTM in fibromyalgia patients. So, Turkish researchers conducted a six-week treatment to assess the benefits of an exercise program, two days a week, with or without the addition
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