From our very own physical therapist Carl Marino:
Perhaps the most useful tools in the treatment of fibromyalgia are the MedMassager body and foot units. I say this as a clinician who has treated literally hundreds of fibromyalgia patients and was an advocate for patients even before it became accepted as a diagnosis. I would tell doctors that there was a pattern to the pains people were feeling, and fortunately, it has, for the most part, finally been accepted. Of course, if doctors had been putting their hands-on patients the way physical therapists do, they would have accepted the diagnosis much earlier. I had the unique, and fortunate, experience of renting space from an MD who specialized in chronic pain and fibromyalgia, and at least 75% of my patients during those years were suffering from fibromyalgia.
The unique thing about fibromyalgia muscle spasms and painful knots are that they have a fascial layer component to them. That is, the fascia, which is a thin fibrous layer below the muscle, complicates the relaxation process and therefore the treatment. Unlike regular muscle spasms, these spasms have fibrous nodules below the muscle layer that needs to be relaxed or as I say, smoothed out before a person will feel relief. I can’t stress enough the value of having the exceptionally smooth and deep massaging quality of the MedMassager Body Massager. To relax those hard but very tender and deep muscle spasms, you need to approach the relaxation in a logical and effective way.
I use the MedMassager Body Massager for all the painful areas that fibromyalgia patients experience including, but not limited to the areas surrounding the shoulder blades (scapula), underneath the bottom medial tip of the scapula along the spine all the way up into the trapezius muscles across to the shoulders, and up into the neck. If you use a body oil, rub the side of your thumb up along the spine (obviously you can’t do this on yourself) and if you follow the medial border of the scapula, you will almost always feel the fascia knotted up under the muscles. Typical areas of severe muscle spasms and pain are the areas just mentioned, and the low back, especially over the sacroiliac joint near the spine, the sides of the legs, the middle muscle of the thigh (rectus femoris) and the upper chest muscles. These hot spots are almost always known for harboring bad spasm a few inches below the collar bone. For painful feet and ankles, the MedMassager Foot Massager is an excellent adjunct to the Body Massager.
The following treatment suggestions can be used on any or all fibromyalgia muscle spasms:
Note: Please review the contraindications (when and where you shouldn’t perform the treatments) in the techniques section of this website so that you don’t run into any troubles. For example, if you have a pacemaker, you SHOULD NOT treat the upper chest where most pacemakers are placed just under the skin. YOU SHOULD never treat over a pregnant woman or possibly a pregnant uterus, or where there are any cancerous cells.
For fibromyalgia muscle spasms, the most relaxing and effective methods are the following:
1) Use a heating pad over the area/s for about 20 minutes. If you don’t have a heating pad, I would recommend Sombra warming gel.
2) Rub lavender or vanilla scented body oils on the skin before using the MedMassager. These essential oils are excellent for relaxation.
3) Use the MedMassager body massager beginning at a slower speed and adjust to your comfort level. You will have a difficult time achieving the relief you can are aiming for with just the hands, as it is necessary to penetrate the muscle fibers to release spasms and relax the muscles. We suggest using this method for five to 15 minutes per area or as little, or as much as, is needed for the desired effect.
4) Finish by rubbing in Biofreeze for lasting relief.
5) If you are fortunate enough to have the MedMassager Foot massager, you can use it for 15 minutes at a time or to your comfort level. Some people with fibromyalgia prefer to wear socks during this treatment as it seems to take some of the hypersensitivity away that many fibromyalgia sufferers have.
6) Once relaxed, the muscles should be strengthened using the Theraband exercise method which can be found at the Theraband Academy site for our customers. This site has the specific exercises needed for every area of the body.
7) Exercising muscles affected by fibromyalgia are extremely important as stronger muscles support the body better and help prevent some of the severe muscle spasms and pain associated with fibromyalgia.