All studies of any type of massage or soft tissue mobilisation that reported at least one outcome relating to pain or function in patients with fibromyalgia were eligible for inclusion.
The review included single-arm studies and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of male and female patients with a mean age that ranged from 37.9 to 50.9 years (where reported). Pain duration ranged from 8.1 years to 16.9 years (where reported). Types of massage included manual lymphatic drainage, Mechanical (Cellu M6), Swedish or Shiatsu, and connective tissue massage with or without combined ultrasound therapy. The number of procedures ranged from 10 to 15, with a treatment duration that ranged from 20 and 60 minutes (where reported). Some control groups received transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), Sham TENS, progressive muscle relaxation, standard care with or without telephone follow-up, or no treatment. A variety of outcomes relating to pain and function were assessed in the short-term (end of treatment) and long-term (at six months follow-up).
The author did not state how many reviewers selected the studies.