Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

A systematic review of the effects of strength training in patients with fibromyalgia: clinical outcomes and design considerations

PainSci » bibliography » Andrade et al 2018
Tags: treatment, exercise, fibromyalgia, strength, self-treatment, chronic pain, pain problems

One article on PainSci cites Andrade 2018: A Rational Guide to Fibromyalgia

PainSci commentary on Andrade 2018: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

This is a systemic review of 22 studies of strength training for fibromyalgia which found that there is evidence of benefit that several weeks of moderate strength training will reduce pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. This is a rare example of a review that doesn’t have a “garbage in, garbage out” problem: the evidence may actually be adequate! Imagine.

That said, we have to overlook the fact that the reviewers respected “tender points” as a diagnostic criteria… almost a decade after they’ve been eliminated from the official criteria (see Wolfe).

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

BACKGROUND: Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by chronic and generalized musculoskeletal pain. There is currently no cure for FM, but palliative treatments are available. One type of treatment is strength training (ST). However, there is a need for more information on optimal training protocols, intensity, and volume needed to improve symptoms. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of ST in the treatment of FM through a systematic review of experimental research.

METHODS: Medical Subject Headings search terms and electronic databases including Scientific Electronic Library Online, PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database were used to identify studies.

RESULTS: The inclusion criteria were met by 22 eligible studies. Most of the studies were conducted in the United States (36%), Finland (23%), Brazil (18%), and Sweden (18%). The studies showed that ST reduces the number of tender points, fatigue, depression, and anxiety, and improves sleep quality and quality of life in patients with FM. The intervention period ranged from 3 to 21 weeks, with sessions performed 2 times a week in 81.81% of the studies, at initial intensities of 40% of 1-repetition maximum. The repetitions ranged from 4 to 20, with no specific protocol defined for ST in FM.

CONCLUSION: The main results included reduction in pain, fatigue, number of tender points, depression, and anxiety, with increased functional capacity and quality of life. Current evidence demonstrates that ST is beneficial and can be used to treat FM.

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher