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Moderate-Vigorous Exercise Improves Long-Term Outcomes in Fibromyalgia

  [ 1 vote ]   [ 3 Comments ] • February 15, 2013


Moderate-vigorous physical activity improves long-term clinical outcomes without worsening pain in fibromyalgia.
– Source: Arthritis Care and Research, February 11, 2013

By A.S Kaleth, et al.


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relationship between long-term maintenance of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and clinical outcomes in fibromyalgia (FM).

METHODS: Patients with FM (n=170) received individualized exercise prescriptions and completed baseline and follow-up physical activity assessments using the Community Health Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS) questionnaire at weeks 12, 24, and 36. The primary outcome was the change in the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire-Physical Impairment (FIQ-PI) score. Secondary outcomes included improvements in overall well-being (FIQ-Total), pain severity ratings, and depression.

RESULTS: Using a threshold increase in MVPA of ?10 metabolic equivalent hours per week (MET h/wk) above usual activities,

  • 27 subjects (15.9%) increased and sustained (SUS-PA),

  • 68 (40%) increased, but then declined (UNSUS-PA),

  • and 75 (44.1%) did not achieve this benchmark (LO-PA).

 Compared to LO-PA subjects,

  • both SUS-PA and UNSUS-PA subjects reported greater improvement in FIQ-PI (p<0.01) and FIQ-Total (p<0.05).

  • Additionally, the SUS-PA group reported greater improvement in pain severity compared to the LO-PA group (p<0.05).

  • However, there were no significant group differences between SUS-PA and UNSUS-PA for any primary or secondary outcome measure.

CONCLUSION: Increased participation in MVPA for at least 12 weeks improves physical function and overall well-being in patients with FM.

Although sustained physical activity was not associated with greater clinical benefit compared to unsustained physical activity, these findings also suggest that performing greater volumes of physical activity is not associated with worsening pain in FM.

Future research is needed to determine the relationship between sustained MVPA participation and subsequent improvement in patient outcomes.

Source: Arthritis Care and Research, February 11, 2013. By A.S. Kaleth, C.K. Saha, M.P. Jensen, J.E. Slaven and D.C. Ang. Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, IN, USA. E-mail:

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Article Comments Post a Comment

Researchers who say this should experience fibro for one and vigorously exercise
Posted by: gogogo
Feb 15, 2013
Stop with ridiculous exercise campaign. Before I got fibro, I was life-long runner, swimmer, hiker, cyclist and played with my daughter, daily.

After getting fibeo, walking in the grocery store hurts.

I swam this morning for 20 minutes. Not laps, like I used to. Just stretches, easy strokes, treading and some exercising. THE PAIN LEVEL SKYROCKETED. It hurts to use the ellitipcal.

Come on. People with fibro aren't lazy complainers. We hurt all the time. Exercise hurts. Stop telling me "if you're hurting anyway, you might as well exercise." Really, stop chopping your hand off...because, you won't have a hand, anyway.

Use our research dollars on ways that don't blame the patients. By the way, I eat heathly and weight 110. I would like to gain some weight.
Reply Reply

so true gogogo
Posted by: roge
Feb 16, 2013
Im so sick of this 1980's regime of exercise and take some elavil and you will be better.

I was an athlete in my day and lifted 200 pound weights (bench press) and biked 150 km/day and now at 42 I can barely walk due to my tendons and dysfunctional muscles (yes new research shows low ATP in the muscles among numerous other abnormalities) yet we are always being told there is nothing wrong with our muscles and tendons - bunch of balony and Im sick of the lies!

Ya once again blame the patient - if you just exercised you would feel better - Gimme a break.

Many with FM have weak and abnormal tendons and facia as well - yes confirmed by studies. Cmon researchers - lets get serious here about trying to piece together all the many studies that point to all the physical abnormalities and solve the main pathology here so FM can be better treated as right now treatment is minimally effective and for many there is no effective treatment.


Posted by: roge
Feb 16, 2013
Moderate Vigorous excercise??? - is this some kind of joke?

perhaps light and work your way up VERU gradually within tolerance levels but a study to just start people with moderate to severe FM with vigorous exercise is just negligent and shows these researchers are ignorant. if they have mild FM then ok maybe but if not, then NO


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