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Fibromyalgia and exercise training: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials
Busch AJ, Schachter CL, Peloso PM
Physical Therapy Reviews 2001;6(4):287-306
systematic review

OBJECTIVE: This review evaluates the effects of exercise training for individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). METHODS: Seven bibliographic indices (1996 to 2000) were searched for experimental studies containing phsyical exercise training for FMS. The methodological quality and adequacy of training stimulus were rated. Studies meeting less than or equal to 50% of the quality criteria and applying adequate exercise training stimulus were classified as High Quality Training Studies (HQTS). RESULTS: Fourteen experimental trails were found; six were HQTS of aerobic exercise. In the HQTSs, improvements reported were: tender points = 4 of 4 of the HQTS using this outcome measure; cardiorespiratory fitness = 3 of 4; global well-being = 3 of 5; and fatigue and sleep = 2 of 5. There is moderate benefit in FMS from supervised aerobic exercise training. Details about dosage for muscle strengthening or flexibility training were insufficient to evaluate the adequacy of the training stimulus. Further research is needed to describe the long term effects of all types of exercise training and to examine strengthening and flexibility training in FMS.

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A brief summary and a critical assessment of this review may be available at DARE