Fibromyalgia symptoms improved by lifestyle adjustments

Mar 29, 2010

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".

Explore further: CHOP global health focuses on children with cerebral palsy in southern Africa

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

Occupational therapy gets people with osteoarthritis moving

Sep 29, 2008

Physical activity is the cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle – and especially for people with osteoarthritis as exercise helps maintain good joint health, manage their symptoms, and prevent functional decline. Osteoarthritis, ...

Walking linked to easing arthritis

Feb 24, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- "Progressive walking" combined with glucosamine sulphate supplementation has been shown to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

New links between epilepsy and brain lipids

Sep 17, 2009

In mice that are missing a protein found only in the brain, neural signals "go crazy," leaving the animals with epileptic seizures from a young age, researchers have found. The report in the September 18th Cell, a Cell P ...

Walking linked to eased osteoarthritis

Feb 16, 2010

"Progressive walking" combined with glucosamine sulphate supplementation has been shown to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open-access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy found ...

Gabapentin may treat fibromyalgia pain

Jun 11, 2007

U.S. scientists say the anticonvulsant medication gabapentin might be effective in treating pain and other symptoms arising from fibromyalgia.

Recommended for you

Score IDs patients with upper extremity DVT at low risk

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—For patients with upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), six easily available factors can be used to create a score that identifies those at low risk of adverse events during the first ...

Combined drug treatment combats kidney disease

11 hours ago

A recent discovery by drug researchers whereby coupling specific cell membrane receptors has altered kidney cell function has triggered a re-think of how to treat chronic kidney disease (CKD) more effectively.

Active substance targeting dreaded hospital germs

12 hours ago

In the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), scientists have conducted clinical studies on an active substance against the dreaded hospital pathogen Staphylococcus aureus: a highly effective protein from bacteriophages ...

User comments : 1

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.