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      Impact of water therapy on pain management in patients with fibromyalgia: current perspectives

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          Abstract

          Exercise-related interventions have been recommended as one of the main components in the management of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Water therapy, which combines water's physical properties and exercise benefits, has proven effective in improving the clinical symptoms of FMS, especially pain, considered the hallmark of this syndrome. However, to our knowledge, the mechanisms underlying water therapy effects on pain are still scarcely explored in the literature. Therefore, this narrative review aimed to present the current perspectives on water therapy and the physiological basis for the mechanisms supporting its use for pain management in patients with FMS. Furthermore, the effects of water therapy on the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neuroendocrine systems and inflammation are also addressed. Taking into account the aspects reviewed herein, water therapy is recommended as a nonpharmacologic therapeutic approach in the management of FMS patients, improving pain, fatigue, and quality of life. Future studies should focus on clarifying whether mechanisms and long-lasting effects are superior to other types of nonpharmacological interventions, as well as the economic and societal impacts that this intervention may present.

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          Most cited references 132

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          Aquatic therapy: scientific foundations and clinical rehabilitation applications.

           Bruce Becker (2009)
          The aquatic environment has broad rehabilitative potential, extending from the treatment of acute injuries through health maintenance in the face of chronic diseases, yet it remains an underused modality. There is an extensive research base supporting aquatic therapy, both within the basic science literature and clinical literature. This article describes the many physiologic changes that occur during immersion as applied to a range of common rehabilitative issues and problems. Because of its wide margin of therapeutic safety and clinical adaptability, aquatic therapy is a very useful tool in the rehabilitative toolbox. Through a better understanding of the applied physiology, the practitioner may structure appropriate therapeutic programs for a diverse patient population.
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            Physical exercise as non-pharmacological treatment of chronic pain: Why and when.

            Chronic pain broadly encompasses both objectively defined conditions and idiopathic conditions that lack physical findings. Despite variance in origin or pathogenesis, these conditions are similarly characterized by chronic pain, poor physical function, mobility limitations, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance, and they are treated alone or in combination by pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches, such as physical activity (aerobic conditioning, muscle strengthening, flexibility training, and movement therapies). Physical activity improves general health, disease risk, and progression of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. When applied to chronic pain conditions within appropriate parameters (frequency, duration, and intensity), physical activity significantly improves pain and related symptoms. For chronic pain, strict guidelines for physical activity are lacking, but frequent movement is preferable to sedentary behavior. This gives considerable freedom in prescribing physical activity treatments, which are most successful when tailored individually, progressed slowly, and account for physical limitations, psychosocial needs, and available resources.
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              Fibromyalgia.

              Fibromyalgia is a common illness characterized by chronic widespread pain, sleep problems (including unrefreshing sleep), physical exhaustion and cognitive difficulties. The definition, pathogenesis and treatment are controversial, and some even contest the existence of this disorder. In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) defined classification criteria that required multiple tender points (areas of tenderness occurring in muscles and muscle-tendon junctions) and chronic widespread pain. In 2010, the ACR preliminary diagnostic criteria excluded tender points, allowed less extensive pain and placed reliance on patient-reported somatic symptoms and cognitive difficulties. Fibromyalgia occurs in all populations worldwide, and symptom prevalence ranges between 2% and 4% in the general population. The prevalence of people who are actually diagnosed with fibromyalgia ('administrative prevalence') is much lower. A model of fibromyalgia pathogenesis has been suggested in which biological and psychosocial variables interact to influence the predisposition, triggering and aggravation of a chronic disease, but the details are unclear. Diagnosis requires the history of a typical cluster of symptoms and the exclusion of a somatic disease that sufficiently explains the symptoms by medical examination. Current evidence-based guidelines emphasize the value of multimodal treatments, which encompass both non-pharmacological and selected pharmacological treatments tailored to individual symptoms, including pain, fatigue, sleep problems and mood problems. For an illustrated summary of this Primer, visit: http://go.nature.com/LIBdDX.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                JPR
                jpainres
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove
                1178-7090
                03 July 2019
                2019
                : 12
                : 1971-2007
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Departamento de Kinesiología, Universidad Católica del Maule , Talca, Maule, Chile
                [2 ] Secretaria de Saúde do Município de Guareí , Guareí, São Paulo, Brasil
                [3 ] Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade do Sagrado Coração , Bauru, São Paulo, Brasil
                [4 ] Departamento de Fisioterapia e Programa de Pós-Graduação em Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de São Carlos , São Carlos, São Paulo, Brasil
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Antonio Roberto ZamunérDepartamento de Kinesiología, Universidad Católica del Maule , Av. San Miguel 3605, Talca, Maule, ChileTel +5 671 241 3640Email beto.zam@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                161494
                10.2147/JPR.S161494
                6613198
                © 2019 Zamunér et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 143, Pages: 37
                Categories
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