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Effects of 2 physiotherapy programs on pain perception, muscular flexibility, and illness impact in women with fibromyalgia: a pilot study [with consumer summary]
Valencia M, Alonso B, Alvarez MJ, Barrientos MJ, Ayan C, Martin Sanchez V
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2009 Jan;32(1):84-92
clinical trial
6/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: No; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the effect of 2 physiotherapy programs designed to improve flexibility and to reduce the impact of the illness and pain perception in women with the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), and compared the effects of the 2 programs in the short and intermediate term. METHODS: Twenty FMS patients were randomly assigned to 2 training groups, one following a program of kinesiotherapy and active muscular stretching and one using techniques of Global Myofascial Physiotherapy, according to the Mezieres method. Both groups met twice a week for 12 weeks, for a total of 150 minutes each week. Flexibility and illness impact were measured by means of a standard test, whereas pain was assessed by means of thumb palpation. Measurements were taken at the beginning and end of the program and 24 weeks after its end. RESULTS: Patients had achieved a statistically significant reduction in the severity of the disease and improved their flexibility level by the end of the program, but had returned to initial values after follow-up. Significant differences were not observed between the 2 treatment groups in the initial values or in the results at the end of the program or after the follow-up, so neither program proved better than the other. CONCLUSION: The FMS patients in this study improved their flexibility level and general well-being using both kinesiotherapy and stretching exercises techniques.
Reprinted from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics with copyright permission from the National University of Health Sciences.

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