Objective: To assess the efficiency of a treatment composed of muscle stretching exercises, associated or not to laser therapy at tender points, for patients with Fibromyalgia (FM), in view of bettering their quality of life.
Methods: Twenty FM patients were randomly assigned to two groups: one submitted to laser therapy and stretching (LSG, n = 10), and the other only to stretching exercises (SG, n = 10). The visual analog scale of pain (VAS) and dolorimetry at tender points were used to assess pain; life quality was evaluated by means of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36).
Results: After the treatment program, both in LSG and SG were detected pain reduction, higher pain threshold at tender points (all p < 0.01), lower mean FIQ scores, and higher SF-36 mean scores (all p < 0.05). No significant differences were found between both groups.
Conclusion: The stretching exercises program proposed is efficient to reduce pain and painful sensibility at tender points, thus enhancing patients' quality of life. Laser therapy has not shown advantages when added to muscle stretching exercises.
Source: Clinical Experimental Rheumatololgy. 2007 May-Jun;25(3):410-5. PMID: 17631737, by Matsutani LA, Marques AP, Ferreira EA, Assumpcao A, Lage LV, Casarotto RA, Pereira CA. Department of Health and Biological Sciences, FIEO University, Osasco, Brazil.