Exercise and Increased Physical Fitness Shown to Reduce FM Symptom Severity

Exercise and Increased Physical Fitness Shown to Reduce FM Symptom Severity
A study was recently published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, showing that exercise and an associated greater fitness level leads to a decrease in symptom severity for female patients with Fibromyalgia (FM).  The study, entitled, “The association of physical fitness with fibromyalgia severity in women: The al-Ándalus project,” was conducted by an international group of collaborating researchers from Spain and Denmark.


FM is a chronic condition associated with widespread pain in muscles and joints, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbance, fatigue and even psychological distress. According to the CDC, FM affects approximately 2% to 5% of the US population, predominately women (Female to Male 7:1) and the majority are diagnosed as unknown etiology (cause).  Many physicians will prescribe exercise as a therapeutic modality for FM sufferers, but there has been very little research done to study the benefits of increased physical activity for patients.

This Study

The researchers assessed the relationship between physical fitness and FM severity in 444 women who were previously diagnosed with FM by a rheumatologist.  The study included 2 days of assessment that consisted of:
  1. On day 1: patients were evaluated to confirm FM diagnosis as
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