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Assessment of the effects of aquatic therapy on global symptomatology in patients with fibromyalgia

 

 

 

 

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008 Dec;89(12):2250-7.

 

Assessment of the effects of aquatic therapy on global symptomatology in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.

 

Munguía-Izquierdo D, Legaz-Arrese A. Section of Physical Education and Sports, University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain.

 

 

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effects of a 16-week exercise therapy in a chest-high pool of warm water through applicable tests in the clinical practice on the global symptomatology of women with fibromyalgia (FM) and to determine exercise adherence levels.

 

DESIGN: A randomized controlled trial.

 

SETTING: Testing and training were completed at the university.

 

PARTICIPANTS: Middle-aged women with FM (n=60) and healthy women (n=25).

 

INTERVENTION: A 16-week aquatic training program, including strength training, aerobic training, and relaxation exercises.

 

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Tender point count (syringe calibrated), health status (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire); sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index); physical (endurance strength to low loads tests), psychologic (State Anxiety Inventory), and cognitive function (Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task); and adherence 12 months after the completion of the study.

 

RESULTS: For all the measurements, the patients showed significant deficiencies compared with the healthy subjects. Efficacy analysis (n=29) and intent-to-treat analysis (n=34) of the exercise therapy was effective in decreasing the tender point count and improving sleep quality, cognitive function, and physical function. Anxiety remained unchanged during the follow-up. The exercise group had a significant improvement of health status, not associated exclusively with the exercise intervention. There were no changes in the control group. Twenty-three patients in the exercise group were exercising regularly 12 months after completing the program.

 

CONCLUSIONS: An exercise therapy 3 times a week for 16 weeks in a warm pool could improve most of the symptoms of FM and cause a high adherence to exercise in unfit women with heightened FM symptomatology. The therapeutic intervention's effects can be assessed through applicable tests in the clinical practice.

 

PMID: 19061736 [PubMed - in process]

 

 

 

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