Findings from a new trial being presented at the 2019 ACR/ARP annual meeting in Georgia this week suggest that functional exercise training could help to reduce pain and improve health-related quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia (FM) when compared to stretching exercises.
The randomised controlled trial included 82 women with FM aged between 18 and 65 years. Participants were randomised 1:1 to functional exercise training for 45 minutes twice a week for 14 weeks (intervention group) or stretching exercises with the same frequency and duration (control group).
Evaluation tools included the Visual Analogue Scale for pain assessment, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Berg Balance Scale, and the SF-36.
The authors reported that after the intervention, the functional exercise group presented a reduction in pain and an improvement in disease-related quality of life, which was statistically significant compared to the stretching exercise group. There were no differences in quality of life, functional capacity, muscle strength, flexibility and balance, between the groups.
“Functional exercise training proved to be effective in reducing pain and improving the health-related quality of life of patients with FM when compared to stretching exercises,” the authors concluded.