Studies Show Physical Activity Improves Quality of Life for People with Fibromyalgia

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)

[Effect of a physical activity programme in patients with fibromyalgia: A sistematic review.]
[Article in Spanish]

By C. Cadenas-Sánchez and J. Ruiz-Ruiz


The aim of this review was to determine what type of physical activity programmes have been developed in patients with fibromyalgia and what are its effects and benefits on the degree of pain and quality of life. The search was performed in MEDLINE, Web of Science and SPORTDiscus databases. The word «fibromyalgia» was always used as a criterion for combined search (using «AND» connector) with physical activity, exercise, physical therapy and training (MeSH terms). Of the 2,531 initial results, 33 papers were selected for review.

The studies reviewed focus primarily on dance activities, water activities, multidisciplinary, mind-body work, fitness and stretching. After applying the intervention program, the pain level was reduced between 10 and 44.2%, and the impact of the disease between 5.3 and 17.9%, improving the symptoms of these patients.

In conclusion, a multidisciplinary programme (in which physical activity is included) may have positive effects on the quality of life of people with fibromyalgia.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.

Source: Medicina Clinica, February 18, 2014. By C. Cadenas-Sánchez and J. Ruiz-Ruiz. Grupo de Investigación PROmoting FITness and Health through physical activity (PROFITH), Departamento de Educación Física y Deportiva, Facultad de Ciencias del Deporte, Universidad de Granada, Granada, España.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)

4 thoughts on “Studies Show Physical Activity Improves Quality of Life for People with Fibromyalgia”

  1. fabby1124 says:

    I am doing Aquatic Therapy, had some classes like dance and arthritis and the pain that I feel after is horrible, I don’t think it works for me. I feel so fatigue an in pain after swimming that I have to take naps after. I don’t know what else to try.

  2. IanH says:

    Fibromyalgia is not a single disease. It is a cluster of symptoms.
    Diagnosis is still unclear and will include people with different pathologies.

    Exercise is valuable but the exercise MUST be tuned for people with FM, not part of a general fitness training or be in a gym along with non-FMs.

    Swimming is useful but must be done carefully. Ideally water wading in thermal pools is best to start with followed by slow swimming in thermal pools. This should be combined with muscle stretching, particularly for the spine.

    Many people diagnosed with FM have ME/CFS and must be extra careful. Many problems arise when people gain a diagnosis of FM without consideration of ME/CFS – and this happens a lot.

    The key to exercising is to start VERY slowly, progress will be slow but improvement does happen.

    If you find that exercise is hurting or worsening symptoms – you are doing too much, step back. Improvements can take many months or even years.

    Exercise is not a cure but does reduce pain and fatigue if done properly. I would never advise someone with FM, and certainly not ME, to start exercising without first starting on a mitochondrial support program and in the case of people with FM who also have spinal stenosis an “anti-inflammatory” regime.

    You should also get tested for herpes virus activation. Even a treatment of aciclovir can reduce symptoms a lot in many people with FM. (and ME).

  3. TheresaHoelscher says:

    That may be TRUE but you have to be on a PAIN MEDICATION for LIFE, or the Quality of your Life may as well be over!!!!!!!!
    Without something for THE CHRONIC PAIN You suffer with every day, you lose the will to fight to live each day. Doctors have only made the Problem a lot worse by making the Patient Suffer!!!!!!! No Excuses any longer Doctors!!!!!!! YOU DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING! Each person is different, we do not handle Chronic Pain the same way the next person can or cannot! What works for one may or may not work for the next person, but the sad thing is that our Doctors do not care any longer. You go to see a Pain management Doctor and they just keep asking you why are you here, what do you expect me to do for you? Well Doc, I thought you were the DOCTOR, You tell me! It is such a shame what they are putting us all with Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain, through.

  4. mareoak says:

    Who exactly was involved with this study? How many people? What was their medical condition? How did they contract Fibro/CFIDs? My 24/7 365 pain and exhaustion started when I fell down the cellar stairs. Other Fibroites say it was because of a car accident, physical abuse, trauma resulting after an operation, the flu shot, a bad flu, etc. Read the comments after you read the “brief” article. Because it’s true, every Fibro/CFIDs patient’s symptoms and levels of pain are different. Some people can continue to work; some can’t get out of bed; some use wheelchairs to get around; 95% of us use canes when mobile. Were these the type of Fibroites in the study? And those of us with Fibro/CFIDs and don’t work are usually on SSDI and Medicare/Medicaid so we don’t become homeless but it’s less than what we were making when working fulltime. Where are we supposed to get the money to pay for these “therapies” when a lot of money goes for our medications. Physical Therapy, Aqua Therapy, Accupuncture, Chiropractic care, massage therapy, etc. — these all cost more than we can afford and plus, they aren’t guaranteed to work on our pain and exhaustion. Imagine going to a therapy, suffering through said therapy in horrible physical pain and afterwards going home still in pain. That’s not to say some patients do benefit from these therapies. Again, it just depends on what level of pain and exhaustion you have. Every Fibroite is different. This study says that physical activity is needed. Well, I think the first step in treating a patient with Fibro/CFIDs should be in the form of pain control. Because if you are in pain, a pain so bad it’s routinely a level 8-10 on the pain scale every minute of every day, then you’re not going to benefit from forced exercise. Instead of spending money on these ineffective studies or developing new meds to treat Fibro/CFIDs, they need to spend money on finding the cause of Fibro/CFIDs and curing it.

Leave a Reply