Fibromyalgia symptoms improved by lifestyle adjustments

March 29, 2010, BioMed Central

Short bursts of physical activity can ease fibromyalgia symptoms. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research & Therapy have shown that encouraging patients to undertake 'Lifestyle Physical Activity' (LPA) can markedly increase the average number of steps taken per day and produce clinically relevant reductions in perceived disability and pain.

Kevin Fontaine, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, worked with a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus to investigate the effects of 30 minutes of LPA, five to seven days a week, on physical function, pain and other measures of disability in 84 fibromyalgia patients. He said, " is estimated to occur in 2% of the U.S. general population, affecting about eight times more women than men. Although exercise has been shown to be beneficial, the symptoms often create obstacles that deter many from exercising consistently enough to derive benefits".

LPA involves moderate-intensity based around everyday life such as taking the stairs instead of using an elevator, gardening and walking. In this study, participants were taught to perform LPA intense enough to cause heavy breathing, but not so heavily that they could not hold a conversation. During subsequent sessions participants were taught self-monitoring of LPA, goal setting, dealing with symptom flares, problem solving strategies to overcome barriers to being more physically active, as well as instruction in finding new ways to integrate short bouts of LPA into their daily lives.

At the end of the study, the participants randomized to LPA increased their average daily steps by 54%. Compared to the controls, the LPA group also reported significantly less perceived functional deficits and less pain. Speaking about these results, Fontaine said, "The nature of fibromyalgia's symptoms, the body pain and fatigue, make it hard for people with this malady to participate in traditional exercise. We've shown that LPA can help them to get at least a little more physically active, and that this seems to help improve their symptoms".

More information: Effects of lifestyle physical activity on perceived symptoms and physical function in adults with fibromyalgia: results of a randomized trial, Kevin R Fontaine, Lora Conn and Daniel J Clauw, Arthritis Research & Therapy (in press), arthritis-research.com/

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New study offers insights on genetic indicators of COPD risk

January 16, 2018
Researchers have discovered that genetic variations in the anatomy of the lungs could serve as indicators to help identify people who have low, but stable, lung function early in life, and those who are particularly at risk ...

Previous influenza virus exposures enhance susceptibility in another influenza pandemic

January 16, 2018
While past exposure to influenza A viruses often builds immunity to similar, and sometimes different, strains of the virus, Canadian researchers are calling for more attention to exceptions to that rule.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

January 15, 2018
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Surfers three times more likely to have antibiotic-resistant bacteria in guts

January 14, 2018
Regular surfers and bodyboarders are three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant E. coli in their guts than non-surfers, new research has revealed.

New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs

January 12, 2018
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world—creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines—and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant ...

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication

January 11, 2018
A new study reveals how dengue virus manages to reproduce itself in an infected person without triggering the body's normal defenses. Duke researchers report that dengue pulls off this hoax by co-opting a specialized structure ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

KingDWS
not rated yet Mar 29, 2010
There have been several studies that this one just duplicates. Unfortunetly not all FMS patients respond well to physical activity and definitly most cannot handle anywhere near this level.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.