Progressive muscle relaxation and fibromyalgia

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique used to help decrease muscles tension. It focuses on one part of your body at a time with a goal of relaxing that part. Believe it or not this technique focuses on slowly tensing and releasing each muscle group at a time. You might be discouraged as soon as you read tensing up your muscles, but the technique states to stop tensing before you feel pain!


I actually read about this technique in a book I have in regards to PTSD. I decided to research more about progressive muscle relaxation and came across articles stating this technique may be used to help fibromyalgia. There are also many other benefits to using this technique – it helps reduce anxiety, stress, lowers blood pressure, helps migraines, improves sleep issues and lowers pain levels. These are just a few benefits to using progressive relaxation techniques!


A 2022 study (small study) put progressive muscle relaxation to the test to see how people with fibromyalgia were effected. Thirty seven people with fibromyalgia were randomly selected along with a control group of people without fibromyalgia. The group with fibromyalgia took part in progressive muscle relaxation twice a week for eight weeks. The results of the study showed pain and fatigue among the fibromyalgia group significantly decreased. Perceived stress, blood pressure and pulse rate also decreased.



According to the study progressive muscle relaxation is a feasible treatment route to help improve pain, fatigue, and stress symptoms in people with fibromyalgia. Of course this is just a small study completed, I feel a wider study should be completed to verify the findings. To read the study visit here.

Here is a basic progressive relaxation sequence.

Taken from the book “The PTSD Workbook” third edition

Taken from the book “The PTSD Workbook” third edition

There are many other examples online if you look up progressive relaxation techniques. The above sequence is just one example. I have not personally tried this technique, but I think I will trial it for a few weeks to see how my body reacts.

For more information on progressive muscle relaxation visit the following websites.




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