Fibromyalgia Patients Find Pain Relief, Better Quality of Life by Swimming

Fibromyalgia Patients Find Pain Relief, Better Quality of Life by Swimming
Brazilian researchers have determined that swimming is as effective as walking to relieve pain and improve quality of life for fibromyalgia patients. The study “Swimming Improves Pain and Functional Capacity of Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” was published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. "Physical exercise is an essential component of any treatment for fibromyalgia, and plenty of studies have demonstrated that low-impact aerobic exercise offers the most benefits. However, not everyone likes or is able to do the same kind of physical activity, so our group decided to test alternatives," Jamil Natour, a professor of rheumatology at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), said in a news release. In a 2003 study, Natour's research team found that walking was better than stretching for reducing pain, improving depression and other emotional features, and enhancing cardiorespiratory fitness in fibromyalgia patients. In 2006, the same team found that deep-water running was also effective for patients with the condition. "Swimming hadn't been evaluated with proper scientific rigor. The results of this clinical trial showed swimming was as beneficial as walking, whose positive effects have clearly been demonstrated. Swimming can be a preferable option for a person who suffers from both fibromyalgia and knee arthrosis, for example," Natour said. The new study evaluated the effect of swimming on pain, functional capacity, aerobic capacity, and quality of life in 76 patients with fibromyalgia. Patients were randomly assigned to a swimming group or a walking group. Both groups underwent training sessions overseen by rheumatology experts three times a week for 12 weeks. Participants were evaluated befo
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