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Effects of aerobic exercise on pain perception, affect, & level of disability in individuals with fibromyalgia (FM)

  [ 25 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • April 3, 1994

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to evaluate
the effect of aerobic walking on the pain, disability, and
psychological symptoms of individuals with fibromyalgia.

SUBJECTS. Nineteen subjects with fibromyalgia (2 men, 17
women), aged 30 to 69 years (mean = 49.35, SD = 11.83),

METHODS. Ten subjects walked 20 minutes, three
times per week, for 8 weeks at 60% to 70% of the predicted
maximum heart rate for their age. Nine subjects served as
sedentary controls. Each subject completed pretests and
posttests of the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), the Sickness
Impact Profile (SIP), and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI).
Due to initial differences on all measures, final scores were
adjusted and analyzed by an analysis of covariance.

The experimental group had lower scores on the MPQ on two of
the three BSI indexes, and on the Psychosocial Dimension scale
of the SIP, but higher ratings on the Physical Dimension scale
of the SIP than did the control group on final testing. Only
the differences on one index of the BSI and the Physical
Dimension scale of the SIP were significant.

CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION. The results of the study are
inconclusive. There were trends suggestive of a beneficial
response to aerobic walking (lower psychological and pain
ratings) but limited significant findings and higher physical
disability ratings, for these individuals with fibromyalgia.

Nichols DS, Glenn TM

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