The effectiveness of hydrotherapy in the management of fibromyalgia syndrome: A systematic review

School of Health Sciences, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland, UK.
Rheumatology International (Impact Factor: 1.52). 09/2008; 29(2):119-30. DOI: 10.1007/s00296-008-0674-9
Source: PubMed


Hydrotherapy is often used in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), however there has been limited evaluation of its effectiveness. The aim of this systematic review was therefore to examine the effectiveness of hydrotherapy in the management of FMS. AMED, BNI, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, ProQuest, PubMed, Science Direct and Web of Science were searched (1990-July 2006). Key words used 'fibromyalgia' and 'hydrotherapy', 'balneotherapy', 'aqua therapy', 'pool therapy', 'water therapy', 'swimming', 'hydrogalvanic', 'spa therapy', 'physiotherapy', 'physical therapy' and 'rehabilitation'. Searches were supplemented with hand searches of selected journals. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were assessed for methodological quality using the van Tulder scale. Ten RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Mean methodological quality was 4.5/9 on the van Tulder scale. Positive outcomes were reported for pain, health-status and tender point count. There is strong evidence for the use of hydrotherapy in the management of FMS.

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    • "Randomized controlled trials and recent systematic review and meta-analysis reports indicate that balneotherapy has positive effects in fibromyalgia syndrome patients in terms of pain intensity, FIQ scores, patients' and investigator's global assessment (Falagas et al. 2009; Mc Veigh et al. 2008; Langhorst et al. 2009; Fraioli et al. 2013). However, authors of these studies are anonymously agreed that there is a need for more randomized controlled trials focused on this subject. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this randomized controlled single-blind study is to explore whether addition of mud-pack and hot pool treatments to patient education make a significant difference in short and mild term outcomes of the patients with fibromyalgia. Seventy women with fibromyalgia syndrome were randomly assigned to either balneotherapy with mud-pack and hot pool treatments (35) or control (35) groups. After randomization, five patients from balneotherapy group and five patients from control group were dropped out from the study with different excuses. All patients had 6-h patient education programme about fibromyalgia syndrome and were given a home exercise programme. The patients in balneotherapy group had heated pool treatment at 38 °C for 20 min a day, and mud-pack treatment afterwards on back region at 45 °C. Balneotherapy was applied on weekdays for 2 weeks. All patients continued to take their medical treatment. An investigator who was blinded to the intervention assessed all the patients before and after the treatment, at the first and the third months of follow-up. Outcome measures were FIQ, BDI and both patient's and physician's global assessments. Balneotherapy group was significantly better than control group at after the treatment and at the end of the first month follow-up assessments in terms of patient's and physician's global assessment, total FIQ score, and pain intensity, fatigue, non-refreshed awaking, stiffness, anxiety and depression subscales of FIQ. No significant difference was found between the groups in terms of BDI scores. It is concluded that patient education combined with 2 weeks balneotherapy application has more beneficial effects in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome as compared to patient education alone.
    International Journal of Biometeorology 04/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00484-015-0997-7 · 3.25 Impact Factor
    • "Given the potential importance of HRM for health and health-related qol of the population and in view of limited financial resources of social security systems, targeting the effectiveness of interventions in this area is particularly important . In recent years, a number of systematic reviews have been published reviewing the effectiveness of HRM in musculoskeletal conditions (Falagas et al. 2009; Falkenbach et al. 2005; Fink et al. 2011; Forestier and Francon 2008; Geytenbeek 2002; Kamioka et al. 2010; Langhorst et al. 2009; McVeigh et al. 2008; Pittler et al. 2006; Verhagen et al. 2007, 2003). Even though methodological shortcomings and small sample sizes limit the power of some studies (Forestier and Francon 2008; Geytenbeek 2002; Langhorst et al. 2009; Verhagen et al. 2007), the data indicate that hydrotherapy and several types of balneotherapy, including sulphur or CO 2 baths, mud packs and radon therapy, among others, seem to be beneficial in treating musculoskeletal diseases , especially in pain reduction. "
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    ABSTRACT: Health resort medicine (HRM; in German: Kurortmedizin) is a field of medicine with long-lasting tradition in several European countries. A number of systematic reviews have shown the effectiveness of HRM in musculoskeletal conditions. Reviews focusing on the effectiveness of HRM in non-musculoskeletal disorders are rare. This systematic review aims to provide an overview about all types of health resort treatments applied in non-musculoskeletal conditions, to summarize evidence for its effectiveness and to assess the quality of published studies. MEDLINE, Web of Knowledge and Embase were searched for articles published between January 2002 and December 2013. We used a broad search strategy in order to find studies investigating the effects of HRM in non-musculoskeletal disorders. Two authors independently extracted data and assessed quality using the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies (EPHPP-QAT). Forty-one studies (19 of them with control group) from eight countries examining the efficacy of various forms of spa treatment for 12 disease groups were included. The studies are markedly heterogeneous regarding study design, population and treatment. HRM treatment is associated with clinical improvement in diseases of the skin, respiratory, circulatory, digestive and nervous system among others. However, small samples, the lack of control groups and an insufficient follow-up often limit the generated evidence. The scientific literature of the last decade has shown that a number of non-musculoskeletal disorders are treated with different kinds of HRM. The challenge for the future will be to carry out thoroughly designed studies in larger patient populations to corroborate the impact of HRM treatment on non-musculoskeletal disorders.
    International Journal of Biometeorology 01/2015; 59(10). DOI:10.1007/s00484-015-0953-6 · 3.25 Impact Factor
    • "A systematic review on management of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) through hydrotherapy described as “there is strong evidence for the use of hydrotherapy in the management of FMS” and it showed positive outcomes for pain; tender point count; and health-status.[41] Combination of ST (once daily for 3 days/week) and underwater exercise (once daily for 2 days/week) for 12 weeks significantly reduced pain and symptoms (both short- and long-term); and improved QOL in patients with FMS.[42] Pool-based exercise using deep water running three times/week for 8 weeks is safe and effective intervention for FMS because it showed significant improvement in general health and QOL compared with control; and significant improvement in fibromyalgia impact questionnaire score, incorporating pain; fatigue; physical function; stiffness; and psychological variables.[43] "
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    ABSTRACT: The use of water for various treatments (hydrotherapy) is probably as old as mankind. Hydrotherapy is one of the basic methods of treatment widely used in the system of natural medicine, which is also called as water therapy, aquatic therapy, pool therapy, and balneotherapy. Use of water in various forms and in various temperatures can produce different effects on different system of the body. Many studies/reviews reported the effects of hydrotherapy only on very few systems and there is lack of studies/reviews in reporting the evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems. We performed PubMed and PubMed central search to review relevant articles in English literature based on "effects of hydrotherapy/balneotherapy" on various systems of the body. Based on the available literature this review suggests that the hydrotherapy has a scientific evidence-based effect on various systems of the body.
    North American Journal of Medical Sciences 05/2014; 6(5):199-209. DOI:10.4103/1947-2714.132935
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