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Editor's Note: We all know that fibromyalgia affects our strength, flexibility and balance. This study measured physical fitness of women with FM by analyzing their ability to climb stairs, especially while carrying something. The conclusions of this limited study were 1) the possibility of increased risk of falling and 2) lack of endurance, suggesting the need for resistance and strengthening training to physical therapies.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease characterized by widespread pain and other associated symptoms. It has a relevant impact on physical fitness and the ability to perform daily living tasks.
The objective of the study was to analyze the step-by-step-performance and the trunk tilt of women with fibromyalgia in the 10-step stair climbing test compared with healthy controls.
A cross-sectional study was carried out. Twelve women suffering from fibromyalgia and eight healthy controls were recruited from a local association. Participants were asked to climb 10 stairs without carrying a load and 10 stairs carrying a load of 5 kg in each hand. Mediolateral trunk tilt was assessed using the "Functional Assessment of Biomechanics (FAB)" wireless motion capture device, and the time between steps was assessed via weight-bearing insoles.
Trunk tilt in the stair-climbing task carrying a load was significantly higher in women with fibromyalgia when compared to the healthy controls (2.31 (0.63) vs. 1.69 (0.51) respectively). The effect of carrying a load was significantly higher for women with fibromyalgia compared with healthy controls at the intermediate and final part of the task.
Trunk tilt during stair climbing while carrying a load was higher in women with FM, which could increase the risk of falling. Additionally, women with FM experienced a higher pace slowdown as a consequence of the load, which supports the need of including specific strength and resistance training to physical therapies for this population.
Collado-Mateo D, Adsuar JC, Olivares PR, Dominguez-Muñoz FJ, Maestre-Cascales C, Gusi N. Performance of women with fibromyalgia in walking up stairs while carrying a load. PeerJ. 2016 Feb 1;4:e1656. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1656. eCollection 2016.