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      Effects of lifestyle physical activity on perceived symptoms and physical function in adults with fibromyalgia: results of a randomized trial

      , 1 , 1 , 2

      Arthritis Research & Therapy

      BioMed Central

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          Although exercise is therapeutic for adults with fibromyalgia (FM), its symptoms often create obstacles that discourage exercise. We evaluated the effects of accumulating at least 30 minutes of self-selected lifestyle physical activity (LPA) on perceived physical function, pain, fatigue, body mass index, depression, tenderness, and the six-minute walk test in adults with FM.


          Eighty-four minimally active adults with FM were randomized to either LPA or a FM education control (FME) group. LPA participants worked toward accumulating 30 minutes of self-selected moderate-intensity LPA, five to seven days per week, while the FME participants received information and support.


          Seventy-three of the 84 participants (87%) completed the 12-week trial. The LPA group increased their average daily steps by 54%. Compared to FME, the LPA group reported significantly less perceived functional deficits ( P = .032) and less pain ( P = .006). There were no differences between the groups on the six-minute walk test ( P = .067), fatigue, depression, body mass index, or tenderness.


          Accumulating 30 minutes of LPA throughout the day produces clinically relevant changes in perceived physical function and pain in previously minimally active adults with FM.

          Trial Registration

          clinicaltrials.gov NCT00383084

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          Most cited references 18

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          The fibromyalgia impact questionnaire: development and validation.

          An instrument has been developed to assess the current health status of women with the fibromyalgia syndrome. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) is a brief 10-item, self-administered instrument that measures physical functioning, work status, depression, anxiety, sleep, pain, stiffness, fatigue, and well being. We describe its development and validation. This initial assessment indicates that the FIQ has sufficient evidence of reliability and validity to warrant further testing in both research and clinical situations.
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            Management of fibromyalgia syndrome.

            The optimal management of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is unclear and comprehensive evidence-based guidelines have not been reported. To provide up-to-date evidence-based guidelines for the optimal treatment of FMS. DATA SOURCES, SELECTION, AND EXTRACTION: A search of all human trials (randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials) of FMS was made using Cochrane Collaboration Reviews (1993-2004), MEDLINE (1966-2004), CINAHL (1982-2004), EMBASE (1988-2004), PubMed (1966-2004), Healthstar (1975-2000), Current Contents (2000-2004), Web of Science (1980-2004), PsychInfo (1887-2004), and Science Citation Indexes (1996-2004). The literature review was performed by an interdisciplinary panel, composed of 13 experts in various pain management disciplines, selected by the American Pain Society (APS), and supplemented by selected literature reviews by APS staff members and the Utah Drug Information Service. A total of 505 articles were reviewed. There are major limitations to the FMS literature, with many treatment trials compromised by short duration and lack of masking. There are no medical therapies that have been specifically approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for management of FMS. Nonetheless, current evidence suggests efficacy of low-dose tricyclic antidepressants, cardiovascular exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and patient education. A number of other commonly used FMS therapies, such as trigger point injections, have not been adequately evaluated. Despite the chronicity and complexity of FMS, there are pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions available that have clinical benefit. Based on current evidence, a stepwise program emphasizing education, certain medications, exercise, cognitive therapy, or all 4 should be recommended.
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              Comparison of lifestyle and structured interventions to increase physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness: a randomized trial.

              Even though the strong association between physical inactivity and ill health is well documented, 60% of the population is inadequately active or completely inactive. Traditional methods of prescribing exercise have not proven effective for increasing and maintaining a program of regular physical activity. To compare the 24-month intervention effects of a lifestyle physical activity program with traditional structured exercise on improving physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Randomized clinical trial conducted from August 1, 1993, through July 31, 1997. Sedentary men (n = 116) and women (n = 119) with self-reported physical activity of less than 36 and 34 kcal/kg per day, respectively. Six months of intensive and 18 months of maintenance intervention on either a lifestyle physical activity or a traditional structured exercise program. Primary outcomes were physical activity assessed by the 7-Day Physical Activity Recall and peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) by a maximal exercise treadmill test. Secondary outcomes were plasma lipid and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, blood pressure, and body composition. All measures were obtained at baseline and at 6 and 24 months. Both the lifestyle and structured activity groups had significant and comparable improvements in physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness from baseline to 24 months. Adjusted mean changes (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) were 0.84 (95% CI, 0.42-1.25 kcal/kg per day; P<.001) and 0.69 (95% CI, 0.25-1.12 kcal/kg day; P = .002) for activity, and 0.77 (95% CI, 0.18-1.36 mL/kg per minute; P = .01) and 1.34 (95% CI, 0.72-1.96 mL/kg per minute; P<.001) for VO2peak for the lifestyle and structured activity groups, respectively. There were significant and comparable reductions in systolic blood pressure (-3.63 [95% CI, -5.54 to -1.72 mm Hg; P<.001] and -3.26 [95% CI, -5.26 to -1.25 mm Hg; P = .002]) and diastolic blood pressure (-5.38 [95% CI, -6.90 to -3.86 mm Hg; P<.001] and -5.14 [95% CI, -6.73 to -3.54 mm Hg; P<.001) for the lifestyle and structured activity groups, respectively. Neither group significantly changed their weight (-0.05 [95% CI, -1.05 to 0.96 kg; P = .93] and 0.69 [95% CI, -0.37 to 1.74 kg; P = .20]), but each group significantly reduced their percentage of body fat (-2.39% [95% CI, -2.92% to -1.85%; P<.001] and -1.85% [95% CI, -2.41 % to -1.28%; P<.001]) in the lifestyle and structured activity groups, respectively. In previously sedentary healthy adults, a lifestyle physical activity intervention is as effective as a structured exercise program in improving physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and blood pressure.

                Author and article information

                Arthritis Res Ther
                Arthritis Research & Therapy
                BioMed Central
                30 March 2010
                : 12
                : 2
                : R55
                [1 ]Division of Rheumatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 5200 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA
                [2 ]Departments of Anesthesiology and Medicine (Rheumatology), University of Michigan, Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center, 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Lobby M, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA
                Copyright ©2010 Fontaine et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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