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Benefits of adding stretching to a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise programme in women with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial

PainSci » bibliography » Gómez-Hernández et al 2020
updated
Tags: fibromyalgia, stretch, chronic pain, pain problems, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, muscle

One article on PainSci cites Gómez-Hernández 2020: Quite a Stretch

PainSci notes on Gómez-Hernández 2020:

This trial compared a program of endurance training with stretching to another program without the stretching. The results are characterized as a win in the abstract, but the fine print —the actual data — is disappointing. This is yet another one of those “technically positive” studies. A few dozen subjects who stretched did get better scores on four different outcome measures. However, the differences were really quite small.

Common issues and characteristics relevant to this paper: ?Scientific papers about studies have many common characteristics, flaws, and limitations, and many of these are rarely or never acknowledged in the paper itself, or even by other reviewers. For instance, the failure to acknowledge limitations is a common flaw! I have reviewed thousands of papers, and described many of these characteristics literally hundreds of times. Eventually I got sick of repeating myself, and so now I just refer to a list common characteristics, especially flaws. Not every single one of them applies perfectly to every single paper, but if something is listed here, it is relevant to some degree.

  1. Damned with faint praise — technically positive results (at least partially) that don’t actually impress.
  2. Declares statistical significance without acknowledging low effect sizes.

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.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of adding stretching to a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise programme in women with fibromyalgia. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial. SUBJECTS: Sixty-four female patients who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome based on the American College of Rheumatology criteria were recruited (mean age: 54.27 ± 6.94 years). INTERVENTIONS: The control group (n = 32) underwent supervised moderate-intensity cycling (50%-70% of the age-predicted maximum heart rate) three times per week for 12 weeks. The experimental group (n = 32) underwent the same exercise programme plus a stretching programme once per week for 12 weeks. MAIN MEASURES: The main measures of this study were sleep quality assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, the impact of fibromyalgia on quality of life assessed by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, and pain perception assessed by the visual analogue scale at baseline, after 4 weeks, and after 12 weeks. RESULTS: The experimental group experienced significant improvements at 4-week measure compared with control group: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (P < 0.001); Epworth Sleepiness Scale (P = 0.002); Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (0.93 ± 7.39, P < 0.001); and visual analogue scale (0.52 ± 0.05, P < 0.001). Also at 12-week measure, experimental group experienced significant improvements compared with control group: Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (P < 0.001), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (P < 0.001); Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (1.15 ± 9.11, P < 0.001); and visual analogue scale (0.81 ± 0.62, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Adding stretching to a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise programme increased sleep quality, decreased the impact of fibromyalgia on the quality of life, and reduced pain compared with just a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise programme in our sample of women with fibromyalgia.

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