Abstract: Fibromyalgia: effect of exercise

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2004 Oct 7;124(19):2475-8. [Article in Norwegian] Kurtze N. HUNT forskningssenter Institutt for samfunnsmedisin Det medisinske fakultet Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet Neptunveien 1 7650 Verdal nanna.kurtze@medisin.ntnu.no.

BACKGROUND:Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread unexplained musculoskeletal pain syndrome with decreased pain threshold. Because the etiology of fibromyalgia is unknown and the pathogenesis is unidentified, treatment is largely symptomatic and not standardised. The pain and fatigue reported by individuals with fibromyalgia results in a relative sedentary lifestyle, hence also a decrease in the fitness level of skeletal muscles.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:In order to assess the effect of exercise in fibromyalgia, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register was reviewed; 17 studies of exercise interventions on cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength and/or flexibility were selected.

RESULTS:The results from the studies are inconsistent but low-intensity aerobic exercise regimens were found to be one of the few effective treatments. In these studies, however, subjective pain levels fail to show significant improvement, although improvements are seen on other parameters such as improvement in the number of tender points, in total myalgic scores and reduced tender point tenderness, improved aerobic capacity, physical function, subjective well-being and self-efficacy.

INTERPRETATION:The group exercises varied from 1 – 3 times per week, sessions from 25 minutes to 90 minutes; the duration of the programmes from 6 weeks to 6 month. Most of the programmes were low-intensity dynamic endurance training with a working rate at 50 – 70 % of maximal heart rate in relation to age. PMID: 15477883 [PubMed – in process]

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