Benefits of a self-myofascial release program on health-related quality of life in people with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2017 Jul-Aug;57(7-8):993-1002. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07025-6. Epub 2017 Jan 31.


Background: Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disease with symptoms that significantly limit the life of affected patients. Earlier studies have shown that the application of self-myofascial release provides benefits in variables such as fatigue, range of motion (ROM) or perceived muscle pain in a healthy population. Despite this, the self-myofascial release technique has not yet been used in people with FM. This study aimed to find out the benefits of applying a self-myofascial release program on health-related quality of life in people with FM.

Methods: Sixty-six participants with FM were randomized into two groups, intervention (N.=33) and control (N.=33). The intervention group (IG) participated in the self-myofascial release program for twenty weeks. The study assessed the impact of a self-myofascial release program on cervical spine, shoulder and hip ROM and self-reported disease impact. Two measurements were performed, one at baseline (preintervention) and one postintervention. Two-way mixed-effect (between-within) ANOVA was used for the statistical analysis.

Results: Significant changes (P<0.05) were achieved between the two measurements and between groups for final Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ-S) Score and for five of its seven subscales, including: days per week feeling good, pain intensity, fatigue, stiffness and depression/sadness, as well as all the ROM variables evaluated (neck flexion, neck extension, lateral neck flexion and rotation (bilateral), shoulder flexion and abduction and hip abduction) excluding hip flexion.

Conclusions: The application of a self-myofascial release program can improve the health-related quality of life of people with FM, provided that regular, structured practice is carried out.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Directly Observed Therapy / methods
  • Fatigue / therapy
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Massage / methods*
  • Massage / psychology
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Quality of Life*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Report