The use of myofascial release techniques on fibromyalgia has just been analyzed in an excellent article.
In a series of 86 patients randomized and placebo controlled those that received a 20 weeks treatment with 10 different modalities of fibromyalgia release technique showed a slightly better outcome.
Slightly better only because the results were too close to the usual statistical limits. We find it even more dubious because just one added case in the unresponsive group would have rendered the results off limits. What is always disturbing in this situation too close to the limits is the inability to compare patients. Fibromyalgia has such an extended array of different signs and symptoms that one patient in one group may be totally different from another one. Moreover, the stress level is never taken in account and this is a major player in fibromyalgia. Lastly, how would you be able to compare the effect of one specific treatment if you don’t take in account the fibromyalgia basic care? It’s a bit like comparing the driving ability of someone who has never driven with an experienced driver. I know, it’s difficult to do but in that case, the statistical limits should be more strenuous and instead of 0.05 we should choose 0.001.
Their conclusion in this study is very prudent “The results suggest that myofascial release techniques can be a complementary therapy...” That in itself shows a very cautious if not disappointed stance from the authors. We take this opportunity to outline that self myofascial release techniques are unsuited for fibromyalgia sufferers!
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