Massage relieves tension, relaxes your muscles, and helps eliminate stress and anxiety. It’s also an effective medical therapy that rehabilitates injuries, heals musculoskeletal conditions, and promotes healing. The experts on the team at MultiCare Medical Group in Papillion, Nebraska, have years of experience providing different types of massage therapy customized to meet your health needs. Call their office to learn more about therapeutic massage, or schedule an appointment online for a massage consultation.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by its primary symptom: Widespread pain in muscles, tendons, and joints. The term “widespread pain” isn’t random or generic — it means you truly have pain all over your body.

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed when widespread pain lasts longer than three months, with no underlying medical condition causing the pain. Your pain may feel achy, burning, or like shooting pain, and its severity ranges from mild to severe and debilitating.

People with fibromyalgia also suffer from extreme fatigue, stiff muscles, and difficulty sleeping due to pain. You may hear the term “fibro fog,” which refers to the fact that many with fibromyalgia find it hard to concentrate.

What causes fibromyalgia?

Health experts believe that genetics, infections, and physical or emotional trauma all have a role in triggering fibromyalgia, yet it’s cause remains unknown. The medical research indicates it’s a neurosensory disorder that leads to abnormal pain processing in the central nervous system.

The constant presence of pain causes changes in your brain and nerves that increase your sensitivity to pain. This condition, central sensitization, makes sensations that aren’t normally painful cause you intense pain.

What are the different types of massage?

Some massage techniques use gentle pressure and kneading, while others employ pressure directed at specific trigger points. While there are more than 80 different types of therapeutic massage, these are the four most common techniques:

Deep tissue massage

Deep tissue massage relieves tension in deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue or fascia. Your doctor uses techniques that are similar to Swedish massage, but with deeper pressure and with a focus on areas of pain and tension. This therapy helps break down adhesions, relieve pain, and restore movement.

Trigger point massage

A trigger point is a specific area of knotted muscles or tight fascia that’s painful when pressed. Trigger points also cause pain in other parts of the body. A trigger point in your back may cause neck pain. Trigger points can also radiate pain throughout your body. Trigger point massage places concentrated pressure on the affected area to help relax soft tissues and alleviate the pain.

Swedish massage

Swedish massage is commonly used for general relaxation and stress relief, but it also provides therapeutic benefits like improving flexibility and increasing blood flow, which boosts oxygen in tissues and eliminates toxins. Swedish massage uses techniques like rubbing muscles in the direction of blood flow, firm kneading, circular pressure, and percussive tapping.

Sports massage

Massage is performed before, during, and after athletic events to facilitate peak performance, prevent injuries, improve flexibility, fight fatigue, relieve swelling, and reduce muscle tension. The techniques used for sports massage depend on the athlete’s unique needs.