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Does moderate-to-high intensity Nordic walking improve functional capacity and pain in fibromyalgia? A prospective randomized controlled trial – Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, Oct 13, 2010

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By Kaisa Mannerkorpi, et al. • www.ProHealth.com • November 5, 2010


[To see a video of an introduction to Nordic Walking (using ski-like poles that involve/support shoulder and arm movement), click HERE.]

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of moderate-to-high intensity Nordic Walking (NW) on functional capacity and pain in fibromyalgia (FM).

Methods: A total 67 women with FM were recruited to the study and randomized either to moderate-to-high intensity Nordic Walking (n = 34, age 48 +/- 7.8 years) or to a control group engaging in supervised low-intensity walking (LIW, n = 33, age 50 +/- 7.6 years). Primary outcomes were the six-minute walk test (6MWT) and the Fibromyalgia Inventory Questionnaire Pain scale (FIQ Pain). Secondary outcomes were: exercise heart rate in a submaximal ergometer bicycle test, the FIQ Physical (activity limitations) and the FIQ total score.

Results: A total of 58 patients completed the post-test.

• Significantly greater improvement in the 6MWT was found in the NW group (P = 0.009), as compared with the LIW group.

• No between-group difference was found for the FIQ Pain (0.626).

• A significantly larger decrease in exercise heart rate (P = 0.020) and significantly improved scores on the FIQ Physical (P = 0.027) were found in the NW group as compared with the LIW group. No between-group difference was found for the change in the FIQ total.

• The effect sizes were moderate for the above mentioned outcomes.

Conclusions: Moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise by means of Nordic Walking twice a week for 15 weeks was found to be a feasible mode of exercise, resulting in improved functional capacity and decreased level of activity limitations.

 Pain severity did not change over time during the exercise period.

Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00643006.

Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, Oct 13, 2010;12:R189. DOI:10.1186/ar3159, by Mannerkorpi K, Nordeman L, Cider A, Jonsson G. Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg; Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital; Sahlgrenska School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg; Research and Development Unit in Primary Health Care Södra Älvsborg, Borås; Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation/Physiotherapy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Göteborg; Primary Health Care Uddevalla, Uddevalla, Sweden.





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