Assessment of the Effects of Aquatic Therapy on Global Symptomatology in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome:
A Randomized controlled Trial.
Journal: Archives Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, December 2008, Volume 89.
Authors: Munguia-Izquierdo D, Legaz-Arrese A. 2008.
Authors compared a group of 25 healthy, gender and age-matched controls to 29 women with fibromyalgia (ACR classification) who completed a 16 week aquatic exercise program 3x per week (75% adherence required) and 24 women with fibromyalgia who engaged in usual activities.
The pool was chest-deep and 32 °C; the exercise program was 60 minutes and included a warm
up, strengthening and CV (50% to 80% of max HR). Measurements included tender point
count, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, sleep quality, endurance test, State Anxiety
Inventory and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT) and adherence to the program
1year after its completion.
Results: The water exercise group had a significant decrease in tender point count,
increased endurance, reported improved sleep quality, and scored better on the PASAT
indicating better cognition compared to the usual activity group. The Anxiety scale was unchanged. There was a high exercise adherence rate of 80% 1 year later.
Take Home Message: There is lots of research supporting the management of fibromyalgia with a warm water exercise program. Maintaining a good quality of life and retention of function requires the client with fibromyalgia to stick to an exercise program - warm water exercise is a good choice.