Aquatic Training and Detraining on Fitness and Quality of Life in Fibromyalgia

Journal: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2007 Jul;39(7):1044-1050.

Authors and affiliations: Tomas-Carus P, Häkkinen A, Gusi N, Leal A, Häkkinen K, Ortega-Alonso A. Fitness and Lifequality Laboratory, Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain; Department of Sports Sciences, Physical Activity and Health, University of Evora, Evora, Portugal; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Jyväskylä Central Hospital, Jyväskylä, Finland; Hospital of Cáceres, Cáceres, Spain; Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland; and Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.

PMID: 17596770

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a 12-wk period of aquatic training and subsequent detraining on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and physical fitness in females with Fibromyalgia.

Methods: Thirty-four females with Fibromyalgia were randomly assigned into two groups: an exercise group, who exercised for 60 min in warm water, three times a week (N = 17); and a control group, who continued their habitual leisure-time activities (N = 17). HRQOL was assessed using the Short Form 36 questionnaire and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire.

Physical fitness was measured using the following tests: Canadian Aerobic Fitness, hand grip dynamometry, 10-m walking, 10-step stair climbing, and blind one-leg stance. Outcomes were measured at baseline, after treatment, and after 3 months of detraining.

Results: After 12 wk of aquatic exercise, significant positive effects of aquatic training were found in physical function, body pain, general health perception, vitality, social function, role emotional problems and mental health, balance, and stair climbing. After the detraining period, only the improvements in body pain and role emotional problems were maintained.

Conclusion: The present water exercise protocol improved some components of HRQOL, balance, and stair climbing in females with Fibromyalgia, but regular exercise and higher intensities may be required to preserve most of these gains.

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