Newsletter excerpts: Fibromyalgia January 2018

Michelle Burns
January 11, 2018

Every month I send out a newsletter to subscribers with the most recent evidence and studies on specific body work topics. The newsletter may include summaries and links to studies and articles, videos that provide support information about exercises, new techniques or lectures. There are five main focuses for the newsletters and each newsletter is repeated twice a year. The six main focuses for the newsletters are: Shoulder and rotator cuff, fibromyalgia, fascia and trigger points, upper cross and neck, cupping and lymphatic drainage and business/ethics. If you would like to receive the newsletters with more complete information than is found in the excerpts, please sign up to receive the newsletter on my contact page.

PLEASE NOTE: This is the last edition of the Fibromyalgia newsletter. This newsletter will be converted to a newsletter with a focus on chronic pain conditions rather than the narrow focus of fibromyalgia.


Tips & Tidbits

  1. Patients with fibromyalgia show significantly lower levels of serum vitamin D than those of a control group.
  2. Here is a link to the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR)

Studies, Articles, and Resources

  1. A study titled “A pilot study of myofascial release therapy compared to Swedish massage in Fibromyalgia” by Liptan, Mist, Wright, Arzt & Jones, published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies concluded: between-group differences in symptoms and physical function did not reach statistical significance. There were no consistent focal areas of improvement for the Swedish massage group while the MFR group reported consistent pain reductions in the neck and upper back regions. A larger randomized controlled trial is called for.

  2. In a study in Man Ther 2015 by Yuan, Matsutani & Marques, titled “Effectiveness of different styles of massage therapy in fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis”, the authors concluded: myofascial release had large, positive effects on pain and medium effects on anxiety and depression at the end of treatment; 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.

  3. In a study, published in Rheumatol Int. 2017 titled “A comparison of the effects of exercises plus connective tissue massage to exercises alone in women with fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized controlled trial” concluded: exercises with and without connective tissue massage might be effective for decreasing pain, fatigue and sleep problem whereas increasing health status and quality of life. However, exercises with CTM might be superior in improving pain, fatigue, sleep problem, and role limitations due to physical health compared to exercise alone.

  4. A study, published in J Pain Res. 2017, titled “Caffeine as an opioid analgesic adjuvant in fibromyalgia” concluded: caffeine consumption was associated with decreased pain and symptom severity in opioid users, but not in opioid nonusers, indicating caffeine may act as an opioid adjuvant in fibromyalgia-like chronic pain patients. This data suggest that caffeine consumption concomitant with opioid analgesics could provide therapeutic benefits not seen with opioids or caffeine alone.

  5. A study published in Complement Ther Clin Prati in Aug 2017, titled “Effects of whole-body vibration therapy in pain, function and depression of the patients with fibromyalgia” concluded: Whole body vibration therapy is found to be effective in reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia.

  6. A study published in Clin Biomech titled “Effects of a 16-week hydrotherapy program on three-dimensional scapular motion and pain of women with fibromyalgia: a single-arm study” concluded: Hydrotherapy was effective to improve quality of life, pain intensity and fibromyalgia impact on women. However, scapular kinematics did not change after the period of treatment. Although symptoms improved, the lack of changes in scapular kinematics may indicate these women have an adaptive movement pattern due to their chronic painful condition.


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