Beth’s Blog

Massage for Tendinitis

http://www.altmd.com/Articles/Massage-for-Tendinitis

Akaraporn Sakhakorn

Massage for Tendinitis

Tendinitis (also spelled tendonitis) is the painful inflammation of a tendon (fibrous tissue that connects muscle to bone) that often occurs as the result of a repetitive strain or a muscular overuse injury. Massage is a type of manual therapy that can help relieve the pain associated with tendinitis and improve overall function by manipulating the affected area to reduce excessive tension in the connective tissue and muscles, and promote healing.

How Can Massage Help Relieve Tendinitis?

Treatments for tendinitis are intended to heal the injured tendon. Restricted activity, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, elevation, compression, and splinting are the first lines of treatment for tendinitis. Massage for tendinitis may help relieve excessive tension and help prevent the buildup of scar tissue via hands-on manipulation of the affected area. Icing may be done before and after massage to provide optimal relief.

Massage should not be given during the acute stage of a tendinitis injury (which is typically the first 48 hours after injury) and should not be performed when tissues are swollen or visibly inflamed.

Studies have suggested that deep transverse friction massage (also called Cyriax massage) is the type of massage that is most beneficial for treating tendinitis. With this technique, the fingers use short, abrupt, sweeping back-and-forth motions to move the skin but do not slide over it. The goal of transverse massage is to move across a ligament or tendon to mobilize it as much as possible. Transverse massage, when performed before active exercise, can help reduce the pain associated with tendinitis and restore mobility. Transverse massage is generally thought to be safe and effective for treatment of tendinitis, though larger studies are needed to conclusively determine the exact benefits of transverse friction massage for tendinitis.

The Active Release Technique is a patented soft tissue management treatment that reduces adhesions and scar tissue that may form as the result of tendinitis. This muscle manipulation massage technique is used to treat problems that occur with tendons, as well as muscles, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. This specific massage technique combines precisely directed tension by the practitioner with very specific active movements by the patient to release the contacted tissue. Treatments take about eight to 15 minutes for each area being treated and two to ten visits may be needed before full functionality is restored.

What is Tendinitis?

Tendinitis is the pain and tenderness that occur just outside of a joint as the result of inflammation or irritation of a tendon. Tendinitis commonly affects the shoulder (rotator cuff tendinitis), elbow (tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow), wrist and thumb (de Quervain’s disease), hip (iliotibial band tendinitis), knee (runner’s knee or peripatellar tendinitis), and lower calf or ankle (Achilles tendinitis). People with a chronic medical condition such as diabetes may have calcific tendinitis, a buildup of calcium deposits in the joint.

Acute (sudden onset) tendinitis may lead to chronic (long-term) tendinitis (called tendinosis or tendinopathy) if the person does not adequately rest the joint or if the person keeps using the joint while experiencing symptoms.

What Causes Tendinitis?

Repetitive strain injury (also called overuse injury) is the most common cause of tendinitis and may occur more commonly with certain occupations or sports (such as baseball, golf or tennis). It may also be associated with an inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or may occur as the result of an acute injury, such as an excessive muscle stretch.

How Can Tendinitis be Prevented?

Stretching before and after an activity, cross-training, and avoiding activities that cause excessive stress on the tendons for long periods can help prevent or reduce the risk of tendinitis. Physical therapy that includes range-of-motion exercises as well as flexibility and strengthening exercises also may help reduce the risk of recurring tendinitis.

Finding a Massage Therapist

It is important to seek treatment from an experienced, licensed massage therapist who can assess your condition and recommend the massage techniques that are right for you. Most states regulate the massage therapy profession in the form of a license, registration or certification.

A variety of massage styles incorporate elements of cross fiber and active release techniques to relieve tendinitis. Ask your massage practitioner about their experience with these advanced manipulations for treatment.

Some important questions to ask the massage therapist, as recommended by the American Massage Therapy Association, include:

  • Are you licensed to practice massage?
  • How long have you been practicing massage?
  • Do you have experience in performing deep transverse friction massage for tendinitis?
  • Are you nationally certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork?
  • Are you a member of the American Massage Therapy Association?
  • Where did you receive your massage therapy training?

 

Additional Resources

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Medline information on Tendinitis.

Brosseu L, Casimiro L, Milne S, et al. Deep transverse friction massage for treating tendinitis. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews 2002 Issue 4. Art. No: CD003528.

Everything a Cyclist Should Know About Massage

http://semiprocycling.com/everything-a-cyclist-should-know-about-massage

Massage is an important part of a PRO cyclists routine, but where does it fit into a Semi-Pro’s schedule? This episode covers types, benefits and timing of massage for cyclists.

Video – SPC050 – Everything a Cyclist Should Know About Massage (22:33) Download the MP3

Date: June 26, 201

By: Damian Ruse

Description: Massage is an important part of a PRO cyclists routine, but where does it fit into a Semi-Pro’s schedule? This episode covers types, benefits and timing of massage for cyclists.

As Semi-Pros we know what massage are, after all it’s why we shave our legs right? Yeah right!

Massage to me is still a luxury and an indulgence and used very infrequently. With the rise of mobility information I feel I have most of my major movement issues covered-but it still has it’s place.

We know the pros get them all the time, and maybe you sneak them into your recovery or prep as well, but there is a lot of false information out there surrounding why we should be all massaging it up on regular, so I’m here to address those and to talk about types and timing.

So let’s get stuck in…starting with the types of massages.

Types of Massages for Cyclists

Sports Massage

We’re all aware of the “Sports massage” – also called Manual Therapy. It’s a physical treatment primarily used on the neuromusculoskeletal system to treat pain and disability. It most commonly includes kneading and manipulation of muscles, joint mobilization and joint manipulation.

It’s not just masseurs that use manual therapy, you can get this type of rub from physiotherapists and chiropractors use specifically directed manual force to the body, in order to improve mobility in areas that are restricted; in joints, in connective tissues or in skeletal muscles.

It’s a skilled hands on version of what the mobility work I have spoken about in length. It’s all about solving specific issues that may be plaguing you.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is designed to relieve severe tension in the muscle and the connective tissue or fascia. This type of massage focuses on the muscles located below the surface of the top muscles. Deep tissue massage is often recommended for individuals who are involved in heavy physical activity (such as yourselves). It is not uncommon for receivers of deep tissue massage to have their pain replaced with a new muscle ache for a day or two.

It’s deep and hard, getting elbows and forearms into the mix, Deep tissue massage is applied to both the superficial and deep layers of muscles, fascia, and other structures. The sessions are often quite intense as a result of the deliberate, focused work.

If a practitioner employs deep tissue techniques on the entire body in one session, it would be next to impossible to perform; it might lead to injury or localised muscle and nerve trauma, thereby rendering the session counterproductive.

The term “deep tissue” is often misused to identify a massage that is performed with sustained deep pressure. Deep tissue massage is a separate category of massage therapy, used to treat particular muscular-skeletal disorders and complaints and employs a dedicated set of techniques and strokes to achieve a measure of relief.

So again it’s another to treat specific areas that you may be having problems with.

[…]

Why Should Cyclists Get Massages?

The next question I’m going to answer is why, why would you want to get a massage, and why is it so important to cycling performance. Other than relaxation Massage therapy has numerous benefits for athletes. Believe it or not though, it’s only recently that studies have started being done on what rubs actually do for your body. Aiding recovery is a biggie when thinking about reasons to get a massage. But it may not be for the reason you have always been told.

Dr Mark Tarnopolsky is a researcher and author of a new study just completed at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. In Feb 2012 he published a largely self-funded study, where Tarnopolsky and co-author Simon Melov performed muscle biopsies on both legs of healthy young men before and after hard exercise, and a third time after massaging one leg in each individual.

As Tarnopolsky and his team began comparing those tissues samples from his subject’s massaged legs versus the tissue from the unmassaged leg, they found that the massaged leg had reduced exercise-induced inflammation by dampening activity of a protein referred to as NF-kb. Additionally, massage seemed to help cells recover by lifting another protein called PCG-1 alpha, which is responsible for producing new mitochondria, the small organelles inside each cell crucial for muscle energy generation.

With the addition of other proteins, all contributed to muscle recovery from massage. This new evidence somewhat refutes the popular belief that massage eases pain by helping the body clear lactic acid concentrations. In fact, the team saw no effect of massage on lactic acid concentration.

The excellent website Save Yourself has this to say this popular belief- “After spending time looking into it, it simply is not true or really even possible for a massage can flush out “toxins” like lactic acid out of your body.”

Ok back to the study, it’s believed to be first work on a cellular level basis to document the true effects of massage on reducing inflammation and helping cells recover. From a cyclist’s perspective, this study confirmed what most of us thought we knew all along. So a massage is not going to flush out lactic acid from your system, but may help with reducing inflammation. That’s one big fat reason right there!

Regular massage can also help manage and prevent injury by bringing awareness to areas of the body that are not functioning or responding as efficiently as possible. If the therapist understands the nature of the various injuries or dysfunctions they can treat the athlete accordingly. Think of it more like body maintenance with a professional running their eye over you rather than taking guesses.

This reason takes commitment though – the real benefits arise from frequent massage therapy and from working with a massage therapist that understands sports massage and your body. I believe that if you are serious about your sport and performance, it is essential to integrate massage therapy into your training program.

The ideal frequency for massage therapy is twice a week for an elite athlete, once a week minimum. For a recreational athlete, it would be once a week to once a month based on need.

In coaching, one of the key components to success is a strong athlete/coach relationship built upon trust and effective communication. Similarly, it is key to establish a relationship with your massage therapist so he not only gets to know your body but also is able to work out with you what type and depth the massage should be for what you need in that microcycle (week) or training cycle. Massage should be periodised, and when you integrate it into your yearly plan, it will really reap huge benefits.

Your therapist should be in tune with your body and should have the experience to know how much is beneficial.

 

~~read the entire article at the link above

Massage therapy for cancer patients: a reciprocal relationship between body and mind

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1891200/

Curr Oncol. Apr 2007; 14(2): 45–56.

S.M. Sagar, MD,* T. Dryden, MEd RMT, and R.K. Wong, MD*

Abstract

Some cancer patients use therapeutic massage to reduce symptoms, improve coping, and enhance quality of life. Although a meta-analysis concludes that massage can confer short-term benefits in terms of psychological wellbeing and reduction of some symptoms, additional validated randomized controlled studies are necessary to determine specific indications for various types of therapeutic massage. In addition, mechanistic studies need to be conducted to discriminate the relative contributions of the therapist and of the reciprocal relationship between body and mind in the subject. Nuclear magnetic resonance techniques can be used to capture dynamic in vivo responses to biomechanical signals induced by massage of myofascial tissue. The relationship of myofascial communication systems (called “meridians”) to activity in the subcortical central nervous system can be evaluated. Understanding this relationship has important implications for symptom control in cancer patients, because it opens up new research avenues that link self-reported pain with the subjective quality of suffering. The reciprocal body–mind relationship is an important target for manipulation therapies that can reduce suffering.

Keywords: Massage, cancer, clinical trials, mechanistic studies, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, meridians, brain

1. INTRODUCTION

Therapeutic massage is increasingly used in medical treatment programs to reduce symptoms, improve coping, and enhance quality of life 1,2. Cancer patients use therapeutic massage to improve symptom control and their personal sense of wellbeing.

The largest published report on therapeutic massage is a prospective, nonrandomized, observational study of patients treated at the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York City 3. That study evaluated changes in symptom scores for pain, fatigue, stress and anxiety, nausea, and depression. Participants included 1290 cancer patients and 12 licensed massage therapists. Three variations of massage (selected mainly by the patients) were used: Swedish, light touch, and foot massage. The main outcome measures were data from symptom cards collected by independent observers that were recorded before and after the first session of massage. Symptom scores declined in severity by approximately 50%. Swedish and light touch massage were found to be superior to foot massage. However, the effects of massage were short-term.

This intriguing observational study illustrates many of the challenges in the research into therapeutic massage. The results indicated that the size of the effect for massage in cancer patients is clinically important, and the authors have since begun a randomized controlled trial.

The strength of the pilot study was the systematic collection of data from a large number of patients. Its main weakness was that it lacked a randomized control group, and therefore uncertainty remains regarding whether the intervention (massage) was the only factor that led to the improvement in the patients’ symptom scores. The patients were mainly self-selected and probably believed that the intervention would be of benefit. Symptom improvement may be a consequence of conscious belief of benefit (the placebo effect) rather than the physical manipulation or touch. In addition to the manual therapy, other ambient factors such as verbal communication, background music 4,5, and the scent of massage oils or aroma-therapy products 6,7 may have influenced outcome. The largest effect of massage therapy may be on the reduction of trait anxiety and depression, with a course of treatment providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy 8,9.

Currently there is a dearth of randomized controlled trials of massage therapy in cancer patients. The ones that have been reported show conflicting results that may be a consequence of variation in technique and use of non-validated symptom scores 1013.

A recent prospective randomized trial completed by the department of radiation oncology, CHUM Hôpital Notre-Dame, and the Canadian Touch Research Centre in Montreal 14 evaluated the effects of massage therapy on anxiety levels in patients undergoing radiation therapy. In a 6-month period, 100 patients undergoing radiation therapy were randomly assigned to either massage sessions or control sessions. The massage group received a 15-minute massage session before radiotherapy over 10 consecutive days. The control group did not receive massage. The State–Trait Anxiety Inventory and a Visual Analog Scale were used to evaluate both groups.

Following massage, anxiety scores in the patients were significantly reduced (by 43%) as compared with pre-massage scores. In both groups, patients experienced an average 20% reduction in anxiety between the first and the last radiotherapy session, but that result did not reach statistical significance. The massage therapy was associated with an immediate significant decrease in anxiety scores before radiotherapy (procedural anxiety), but it appeared to have no major impact on situational anxiety. However, the period of intervention and assessment was quite short, and so no conclusions can be drawn regarding long-term outcomes.

The most recent publication of a randomized controlled trial of massage for cancer patients is a multicentre study from four U.K. cancer centres and a hospice 15. A total of 288 cancer patients, referred to complementary therapy services for clinical anxiety or depression, or both, were allocated randomly to a course of aromatherapy massage or to usual supportive care alone. Reduction in anxiety and depression was significant at 2 weeks after the intervention, but not at 6 weeks. The authors concluded that aromatherapy massage is an effective therapeutic option for the short-term management of mild-to-moderate anxiety and depression in patients with cancer. They suggested that the benefits of aromatherapy massage need to be compared with those of psychological interventions for this patient group.

To be able to design appropriate randomized controlled clinical trials, a better mechanistic understanding of therapeutic massage is required. In particular, the physiologic pathways involved need to be understood, including the connection between myofascial manipulation, blood flow, and central nervous system adaptations. Prolonged intervention with massage therapy may possibly induce more permanent neuro-physiologic adaptations because of neural plasticity.

Read more at the link above~~

 

 

ART Massage Community Input

Thought we’d try this avenue to make the blog on Beth’s site more interactive and attune to the ART Massage community.   Please comment, as well, if you have blog post ideas, or want to share thoughts on massage-related issues.

Thanks, Steve

 

 

 

Massage Therapy for Health Purposes

Massage therapy dates back thousands of years, with roots in many different cultures. The term “massage therapy” includes many different styles and techniques in which the therapist uses varying degrees of pressure and manipulation to muscle and other soft tissue.

A lot of the scientific research on the clinical effects of massage therapy has been carried out. While often preliminary or conflicting, much of the evidence points toward beneficial effects on pain and other symptoms associated with a number of different conditions. For example, there is evidence that massage may help with back pain and may improve quality of life for people with depression, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. However, much of the evidence suggests these effects are short term and that people need to keep getting massages for the benefits to continue.

This issue of the digest provides information on what the science currently says about the clinical effects of massage for several health conditions, including pain, cancer, depression, and others.

~~continued at http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/massage?nav=cd

New Research Supports the Mental Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

(http://tinyurl.com/nyrshy3)

Symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression may be alleviated with massage therapy

Evanston, Ill. (October 23, 2013) – /PRNewswire/ – To mark National Massage Therapy Awareness Week (NMTAW), October 20-26, the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) has compiled research that suggests symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression (all associated with mental health) may be alleviated with massage therapy.

Following are some recent research findings which highlight the role of massage therapy in mental health and wellness. View AMTA’s Research Roundup Volume 4 online at www.amtamassage.org/researchroundup.

Massage Therapy for the Treatment of Depression in Individuals with HIV
Research published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine1 indicates that massage therapy can reduce symptoms of depression for1 individuals with HIV disease. The study lasted eight weeks, and results show massage significantly reduced the severity of depression beginning at week four and continuing at weeks six and eight. AMTA President Winona Bontrager says of the study, “This research suggests that regular therapeutic massage could be a useful tool in the integrated treatment of depression for patients with HIV.”

Massage Therapy to Reduce Anxiety in Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy
Research published in Applied Nursing Research2 shows that back massage given during chemotherapy can significantly reduce anxiety and acute fatigue. “This research demonstrates the potential value of massage therapy within the full cancer treatment spectrum, particularly during the often mentally and physically exhausting chemotherapy process,” says Bontrager.

Massage Therapy for Reduced Anxiety and Depression in Military Veterans
Research published in Military Medicine3 reports that military veterans indicated significant reductions in ratings of anxiety, worry, depression and physical pain after massage. Analysis also suggests declining levels of tension and irritability following massage. This pilot study was a self-directed program of integrative therapies for National Guard personnel to support reintegration and resilience after return from Iraq or Afghanistan.

Massage Therapy for Nurses to Reduce Work-Related Stress
Research published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice4 shows that massage for nurses during work hours can help to reduce stress and related symptoms, including headaches, shoulder tension, insomnia, fatigue, and muscle and joint pain. “This study affirms the important role massage therapy can play in the work setting, in this case to ease stress for health care providers who, in turn, can better provide optimal patient care,” says Bontrager.

It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association that massage therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. Read additional research on massage for anxiety.

~~ To read more, visit http://tinyurl.com/nyrshy3

# # #

1 Polane, RE, Gertsik L, Favreau JT, et al. Open-label, randomized, parallel-group controlled clinical trial of massage for treatment of depression in HIV-infected subjects. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2013 Apr; 19(4):334-40. doi 10.1089/acm.2012.0058.
2 Karagozoglu S, Kahve E. Effects of back massage on chemotherapy-related fatigue and anxiety: Supportive care and therapeutic touch in cancer nursing. Applied Nursing Research. 2013 Sep;19. pii: S0897-1897(13)00070-0. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2013.07.002.
3 Collinge W, Kahn J, Soltysik R. Promoting reintegration of National Guard veterans and their partners using a self-directed program of integrative therapies: a pilot study. Military Medicine. 2012 Dec;177(12):1477-85.
4 Engen DJ, Wahner-Roedler DL, Vincent A, et al. Feasibility and effect of chair massage offered to nurses during work hours on stress-related symptoms: a pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2012 Nov;18(4):212-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2012.06.002.

How Massage Heals Sore Muscles

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06
/how-massage-heals-sore-muscles/?pagewan
ted=print

February 6, 2012

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR

A massage after vigorous exercise unquestionably feels good, and it seems to reduce pain and help muscles recover. Many people — both athletes and health professionals – have long contended it eases inflammation, improves blood flow and reduces muscle tightness. But until now no one has understood why massage has this apparently beneficial effect.

Now researchers have found what happens to muscles when a masseur goes to work on them.

Their experiment required having people exercise to exhaustion and undergo five incisions in their legs in order to obtain muscle tissue for analysis. Despite the hurdles, the scientists still managed to find 11 brave young male volunteers. The study was published in the Feb. 1 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

On a first visit, they biopsied one leg of each subject at rest. At a second session, they had them vigorously exercise on a stationary bicycle for more than an hour until they could go no further. Then they massaged one thigh of each subject for 10 minutes, leaving the other to recover on its own. Immediately after the massage, they biopsied the thigh muscle in each leg again. After allowing another two-and-a-half hours of rest, they did a third biopsy to track the process of muscle injury and repair.

Vigorous exercise causes tiny tears in muscle fibers, leading to an immune reaction — inflammation — as the body gets to work repairing the injured cells. So the researchers screened the tissue from the massaged and unmassaged legs to compare their repair processes, and find out what difference massage would make.

They found that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair. “The bottom line is that there appears to be a suppression of pathways in inflammation and an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis,” helping the muscle adapt to the demands of increased exercise, said the senior author, Dr. Mark A. Tarnopolsky.

Dr. Tarnopolsky, a professor of pediatrics and medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said that massage works quite differently from Nsaids and other anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation and pain but may actually retard healing. Many people, for instance, pop an aspirin or Aleve at the first sign of muscle soreness. “There’s some theoretical concern that there is a maladaptive response in the long run if you’re constantly suppressing inflammation with drugs,” he said. “With massage, you can have your cake and eat it too—massage can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery.”

~~continued at link above

Fibromyalgia – Easing the Constant Pain

Repost from original ART Massage Blog, 7/24/13

https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/1839

Easing the Constant Pain,

by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa —  March 21, 2010

Pain, especially when it’s continuous, can make even the smallest activities seem gargantuan. But for people with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), pain is part of their everyday existence. “There was no place in my body that didn’t hurt. I went from feeling good and normal to hurting all over and being super sensitive to touch,” declares Mary Shomon, a fibromyalgia patient turned health advocate, from Washington, D.C. “In two months, I developed all the tender points. If someone touched my neck, it felt like she was sticking a knife in. Then, a trip to the grocery store felt like a mission to the moon.”

Chanchal Cabrera, author of a book on FMS and professor of botanical medicine at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia, understands. She describes the pain of FMS sufferers this way: “Imagine that last night you drank two glasses of wine more than you would have liked, but had no water and ate no food,” she says. “You went to bed late and got up early. You are stiff, achy and tired—all the time.”1

For all the pain, however, there is some promising research suggesting that a combination of treatments, including massage therapy, can help sufferers find relief.

Snapshot of Symptoms
FMS is an ordeal of pervasive, widespread and migratory pain and stiffness that strikes muscles and connective tissues, as well as tendons, ligaments, bursae and joints. The intensity varies depending on time of day, activity level, immune status, weather, sleep patterns and stress, and can extend over weeks or months, only to mysteriously improve after awhile.

Up to 90 percent of patients experience chronic headaches, and many have allergies, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, hypoglycemia, nasal congestion, vasomotor rhinitis and neurotransmitter dysregulation.

Almost all people with FMS have weariness, decreased endurance or exhaustion.

Transient cognitive difficulties are extremely common, including difficulty concentrating or engaging in simple mental tasks.

Some researchers say this is the most common, and for FMS sufferers the most bothersome, symptom. This “fibro fog” is marked by feelings of confusion, memory lapse, word mix-ups and concentration diffculties.2,3,4

Because FMS produces no definitive laboratory results, the diagnosis is one of exclusion. When all other possibilities have been excluded, FMS is what is left. The nomenclature is dense and confusing, but FMS is officially diagnosed when the following symptoms are detected5:

  • A history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body, on both sides and above and below the waist, that is present for a minimum of three months.
  • Pain in at least 11 of the 18 identified tender-point sites.

Many FMS sufferers experience their worst pain at several focal tender points, although the pain often radiates so generally that patients may be unaware of their presence until the point is palpated specifically.

On the whole, however, tender points are not very well understood, as defined locations don’t correspond to any particular set of nerve junctions or other obvious body structures, and other areas are often also tender.

Some specialists will make an FMS diagnosis with fewer than 11 tender points if several of the commonly reported associated symptoms are also present.6

Additionally, researchers find low skin temperature, vasoconstriction and hypoxia above tender points, so newer therapies are aimed at these problems.7,8 “Don’t just concentrate on the pain. You need a whole person approach,” explains Dr. Peter Abaci, medical director of the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in Los Gatos, California. “Most importantly, how do they function at home? You can’t separate the body from the brain and the mind. The whole brain matrix is involved in the pain—there is no ‘pain center.’”

John Combe, LMT, NCTMB and past president of AMTA’s Oregon chapter, tells us, “As a provider, a big obstacle is that clients have been told that they have fibromyalgia, but their doctor offers them no treatment plan—they have turned off the hope switch.”

[…]

Power of Touch
Massage, properly performed, seems particularly helpful in treating fibromyalgia. Patients consistently report that they find bodywork to be the top therapy for providing short-term relief and long-term improvement.18

In an effort to find out just what actually does help people feel better, German scientists took a look at various therapies and concluded that massage was ranked in the top four for patient satisfaction.19

A study in the European Journal of Pain evaluated connective tissue massage. The researchers treated 23

FMS patients and compared them to 23 controls. The subjects received a series of 15 connective tissue massage sessions, which reduced depression and use of pain medication and improved quality of life. The massage benefits gradually increased over the 10-week study, eventually reducing pain by 37 percent. Take note, though, that the patients’ pain had gradually climbed back to about 90 percent of the original level six months post-study.20

And therein lies the problem, as when pain is involved, being consistent can be difficult for some FMS sufferers.

“Therapy should continue for years,” adds Cabrera. “Hundreds of sessions might be indicated, and patient compliance is critical, though difficult to sustain. People know they will eventually feel better, but it might be difficult for someone in pain to get up and make the effort to go consistently.”

Lauren McNeal, an acupuncturist and bodyworker in Annapolis, Maryland, reminds us to be cautious and go slow. “Massage done too aggressively can hurt for three to four days afterward if it’s not in tune with their inner body,” she says.

Regrettably, many FMS patients, for whatever reason, don’t keep up with their massage treatments. One study of long-term FMS patients discovered a sizeable reduction in their use of all forms of hands-on therapy, despite the fact that 85 percent continued to have significant difficulty with their FMS, and 54 percent were taking over-the-counter drugs for pain and 39 percent were using antidepressant drugs.21

~~continued at https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/3/MTJ/detail/1839

Research Exclusive: Study Focuses on Massage Therapy Efficacy Beliefs

posted:9/27/2013
Author: Albert Moraska.
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 A recent study focused on the belief in the efficacy of massage for muscle recovery after running a race. After gathering and analyzing data from runners who had just completed a race, researchers found massage is well-accepted as an aid in muscle recovery, especially among females and people who have received massage in the past.

The study, “Massage Efficacy Beliefs for Muscle Recovery from a Running Race,” involved 745 people who completed the same 10-kilometer race. Study data was collected from subjects within one hour postrace. The mean subject age was about 37 years.

Participants were approached right after the race and asked whether they were interested in completing a short questionnaire. This survey asked each subject to record his or her gender, age, race finish time, time since he or she finished the race, number of professional massages received and number of hours slept the previous evening.

Participants were also asked to rate their perceived exertion, muscle soreness and fatigue on scales from zero to 10. For one of the study’s main outcome measures, subjects were asked, “Do you think massage would be beneficial for your muscle recovery from today’s race?” They could elect to answer yes, no or unsure. The “no” and “unsure” answers were grouped together for analysis.

The data showed female racers reported a younger age, longer race finish time and lower perceived exertion, muscle soreness and muscle fatigue than male racers. Participants who reported having had massage in the past were among the older racers. Subjects who believed massage would aid in muscle recovery were those who were older and reported greater perceived exertion, muscle fatigue and muscle soreness.

The numbers also showed 80 percent of the 745 runners surveyed believed massage would benefit muscle recovery following the race, even though only about 44 percent of the runners had received massage in the past.

~~continued at link above

Document Details Why Massage is an “Integral Component” in the Affordable Care Act’s Essential Health Benefits

08/01/2013

http://www.massagemag.com/News/massage-news.php?id=14161&catid=1&title=document-details-why-massage-is-an-qintegral-componentq-in-the-affordable-care-acts-essential-health-benefits-

Some leaders in the massage field are taking steps to try and ensure that massage becomes a greater part of the U.S. health care system, as the implementation date of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) comes closer. A section of the ACA, which goes into effect in 2014, prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against health care providers—including those licensed as complementary health care providers—relative to their coverage and participation in health plans.A group of Washington state massage therapists has written a document titled “Evidence-Informed Massage Therapy is an Integral Component in the Affordable Care Act’s Essential Health Benefits.”

The document summarizes “the high-quality evidence for [massage therapy’s] effectiveness in treating medical conditions and populations” pertaining to the three (out of 10) Essential Health Benefits described in the ACA.

The authors are Marissa Brooks, L.M.P., Michael Hamm, L.M.P., Benjamin Erkan, Diana L. Thompson, L.M.P., and Kenneth Pfaff, H.F.W.L., H.P.C.U.H.G.S.

“The Affordable Care Act (ACA) supports the integration of MT into state-regulated insurance plans, both in its definitions of health care practitioners, and in its definition of Essential Health Benefits (EHBs),” the authors wrote, adding that two sections in the ACA provide for massage therapists to provide care: “Section 2706: Non-discrimination with respect to licensed or certified providers acting within their scope [and] Section 3502: Establishing community health teams that include CAM practitioners … ” The authors also noted that of the 10 EHBs specified in the ACA, massage therapy “has shown substantial benefit in three primary categories: 5. Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment”; 7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices”; and 9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management.”

The documents reviewers include Ruth Werner, the current president of the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF). Thompson is MTF past president. Tracy Walton, L.M.T., and Albert Moraska, Ph.D., reviewed the document as well. The document was funded by the American Massage Therapy Association’s Washington chapter.

Read the document here.

—Karen Menehan, Editor in Chief