Physical exercise in fibromyalgia and related syndromes

Authors: Mannerkorpi K (1) , Iversen MD (2)
(1) Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Göteborg University (2) Department of Physical Therapy, Simmons College, and Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Source: Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2003 Aug;17(4):629-47
DOI: 10.1016/S1521-6942(03)00038-X Publication date: 2003 Aug E-Publication date: Not specified Availability: abstract Copyright: © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
Language: English Countries: Not specified Location: Not specified Correspondence address:


Article abstract

Fibromyalgia and related syndromes are characterized by chronic pain and fatigue. This chapter identifies the types of exercise that are effective for these patients and provides recommendations for exercise prescriptions. Based on a systematic review of randomized controlled studies of exercise, we suggest that low-intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking, can improve function and symptoms. Aerobic exercise performed twice a week at moderate intensity can improve aerobic capacity and reduce tenderness. Pool exercise can improve function, distress and symptoms. Strength training at adequate load can improve strength without exacerbation of symptoms. Most patients tolerate low-intensity exercise. High-intensity exercise should be undertaken with caution. Due to the large variability of functioning and symptom severity in patient populations, exercise prescriptions should be individualized and should include a long-term plan to maximize functioning and wellbeing. Studies with larger populations, allowing subgroup analyses regarding benefits and adverse effects of programmes, are needed.

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