Belly Dancing Can Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain


Effectiveness of dance in patients with fibromyalgia: a randomized, single-blind, controlled study
– Source: Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, December 14, 2012

By A. Baptista, et al.


OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of belly dance as a treatment option for patients with fibromyalgia.

METHODS: Eighty female patients with fibromyalgia between 18 to 65 years were randomly allocated to a dance group (n=40) and control group (n=40). Patients in the dance group underwent 16 weeks of belly dance twice a week, while the patients in the control group remained on a waiting list.

The patients were evaluated with regard to pain (VAS), function (6MWT), quality of life (FIQ and SF-36), depression (Beck Inventory), anxiety (STAI) and self-image (BDDE). Evaluations were carried out at baseline, 16 weeks and 32 weeks by a blinded assessor.

RESULTS: The dance group achieved significant improvements in VAS for pain (p<0.001), six-minute walk test (p<0.001), FIQ (p=0.003), BDDE (p<0.009) as well as the pain (p<0.001), emotional aspects (p<0.003) and mental health (p<0.021) subscales on the SF-36.

CONCLUSIONS: Belly dance can be used in the treatment of fibromyalgia to reduce pain and improve functional capacity, quality of life and self-image.

Source:  Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, December 14, 2012. By A. Baptista, A. Villela, A. Jones, J. Natour. Disciplina de Reumatologia, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil. E-mail:

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