Efficacy of different types of aerobic exercise in fibromyalgia syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Department of Internal Medicine I, Klinikum Saarbrücken, Winterberg 1, D-66119 Saarbrücken, Germany.
Arthritis research & therapy (Impact Factor: 4.12). 05/2010; 12(3):R79. DOI: 10.1186/ar3002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The efficacy and the optimal type and volume of aerobic exercise (AE) in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) are not established. We therefore assessed the efficacy of different types and volumes of AE in FMS.
The Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsychInfo and SPORTDISCUS (through April 2009) and the reference sections of original studies and systematic reviews on AE in FMS were systematically reviewed. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of AE compared with controls (treatment as usual, attention placebo, active therapy) and head-to-head comparisons of different types of AE were included. Two authors independently extracted articles using predefined data fields, including study quality indicators.
Twenty-eight RCTs comparing AE with controls and seven RCTs comparing different types of AE with a total of 2,494 patients were reviewed. Effects were summarised using standardised mean differences (95% confidence intervals) by random effect models. AE reduced pain (-0.31 (-0.46, -0.17); P<0.001), fatigue (-0.22 (-0.38, -0.05); P=0.009), depressed mood (-0.32 (-0.53, -0.12); P=0.002) and limitations of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) (-0.40 (-0.60, -0.20); P<0.001), and improved physical fitness (0.65 (0.38, 0.95); P<0.001), post treatment. Pain was significantly reduced post treatment by land-based and water-based AE, exercises with slight to moderate intensity and frequency of two or three times per week. Positive effects on depressed mood, HRQOL and physical fitness could be maintained at follow-up. Continuing exercise was associated with positive outcomes at follow-up. Risks of bias analyses did not change the robustness of the results. Few studies reported a detailed exercise protocol, thus limiting subgroup analyses of different types of exercise.
An aerobic exercise programme for FMS patients should consist of land-based or water-based exercises with slight to moderate intensity two or three times per week for at least 4 weeks. The patient should be motivated to continue exercise after participating in an exercise programme.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal pain syndrome that causes substantial physical and psychological impairment and costs the US healthcare system over $25 billion annually. Current pharmacological therapies may cause serious adverse effects, are expensive, and fail to effectively improve pain and function. Finding new and effective non-pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia patients is urgently needed. We are currently conducting the first comparative effectiveness randomized trial of Tai Chi versus aerobic exercise (a recommended component of the current standard of care) in a large fibromyalgia population. This article describes the design and conduct of this trial.Methods/designA single-center, 52-week, randomized controlled trial of Tai Chi versus aerobic exercise is being conducted at an urban tertiary medical center in Boston, Massachusetts. We plan to recruit 216 patients with fibromyalgia. The study population consists of adults ¿21 years of age with fibromyalgia who meet American College of Rheumatology 1990 and 2010 diagnostic criteria. Participants are randomized to one of four Tai Chi intervention groups: 12 or 24 weeks of supervised Tai Chi held once or twice per week, or a supervised aerobic exercise control held twice per week for 24 weeks. The primary outcome is the change in Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire total score from baseline to 24 weeks. Secondary outcomes include measures of widespread pain, symptom severity, functional performance, balance, muscle strength and power, psychological functioning, sleep quality, self-efficacy, durability effects, and health-related quality of life at 12, 24, and 52 week follow-up.DiscussionThis study is the first comparative effectiveness randomized trial of Tai Chi versus aerobic exercise in a large fibromyalgia population with long-term follow up. We present here a robust and well-designed trial to determine the optimal frequency and duration of a supervised Tai Chi intervention with regard to short- and long-term effectiveness. The trial also explores multiple outcomes to elucidate the potential mechanisms of Tai Chi and aerobic exercise and the generalizability of these interventions across instructors. Results of this study are expected to have important public health implications for patients with a major disabling disease that incurs substantial health burdens and economic costs.Trial identifier: NCT01420640, registered 18 August 2011.
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    FTR - Turkiye Fiziksel Tip ve Rehabilitasyon Dergisi 10/2014; 60(Supp 2):9-14. DOI:10.5152/tftrd.2014.33716 · 0.08 Impact Factor

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