Fibromyalgia Pain, Functional Impairment Eased by Exercises Like Swimming and Walking

Fibromyalgia Pain, Functional Impairment Eased by Exercises Like Swimming and Walking
Swimming and walking have similar beneficial effects in fibromyalgia (FM) female patients, improving functional capacity and quality of life and reducing pain, according to a study, “Swimming Improves Pain and Functional Capacity of Patients with Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” published in the journal Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Fibromyalgia is chronic disease characterized by widespread pain, and reduced muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. Physical exercise is often recommended due to its effectiveness in reducing FM symptoms that are usually insufficiently controlled by pharmacological treatment. Aquatic exercises have been shown to exert positive effects on mental, emotional and physical health, improving muscle strength and functional capacity — or the ability to perform meaningful daily activities — while reducing pain. Swimming, particularly, has proven beneficial in patients with chronic pain, but its effects in FM patients had not been studied thus far. Researchers analyzed the rehabilitation of FM patients who underwent 50 minutes of swimming for 12 weeks, three times a week, focusing on pain, and also on aerobic capacity, functional capacity, and quality of life, compared to patients who engaged in a walking program with the same duration and frequency. A total of 75 women with fibromyalgia (ages 18 to 60) participated in the study and were randomly assigned to two different groups: a swimming group with 39 subjects and a 36-patient walking group. Eac
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