Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
No big surprise here. Massage appears to be helpful in the short-term in FM and other chronic pain and it's about as helpful as acupuncture, as relaxation therapy, joint manipulation, etc. The evidence for massages efficacy in FM, however, is quite light according to this study ( Low-to-very-low-level). These physical therapies help to ameliorate symptoms - which is good - but no more...No surprise there!
J Physiother. 2015 Jun 17. pii: S1836-9553(15)00058-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jphys.2015.05.018. [Epub ahead of print] Massage therapy has short-term benefits for people with common musculoskeletal disorders compared to no treatment: a systematic review.
Bervoets DC1, Luijsterburg PA1, Alessie JJ2, Buijs MJ2, Verhagen AP1.
Is massage therapy effective for people with musculoskeletal disorders compared to any other treatment or no treatment?
Overall, low-to-moderate-level evidence indicated that massage reduces pain in the short term compared to no treatment in people with shoulder pain and osteoarthritis of the knee, but not in those with low back pain or neck pain. Furthermore, low-to-moderate-level evidence indicated that massage improves function in the short term compared to no treatment in people with low back pain, knee arthritis or shoulder pain. Low-to-very-low-level evidence from single studies indicated no clear benefits of massage over acupuncture, joint mobilisation, manipulation or relaxation therapy in people with fibromyalgia, low back pain and general musculoskeletal pain.
Massage therapy, as a stand-alone treatment, reduces pain and improves function compared to no treatment in some musculoskeletal conditions. When massage is compared to another active treatment, no clear benefit was evident. [Bervoets DC, Luijsterburg PAJ, Alessie JJN, Buijs MJ, Verhagen AP (2015) Massage therapy has short-term benefits for people with common musculoskeletal disorders compared to no treatment: a systematic review.Journal of PhysiotherapyXX: XX-XX].