Hydrotherapy Can Improve FM Patients’ Pain, Quality of Life, Study Finds

Hydrotherapy Can Improve FM Patients’ Pain, Quality of Life, Study Finds
A study assessing hydrotherapy — exercise in water, such as a pool — found that it improved pain and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). However, the treatment did not improve scapular kinematics, or motion of the scapula (shoulder blade). The study reporting the findings is titled “Effects of a 16-week hydrotherapy program on three-dimensional scapular motion and pain of women with fibromyalgia: A single-arm study,” and was published in the journal Clinical Biomechanics. This study is part of a larger investigation, registered as NTC01839305. The study included 20 women with fibromyalgia, ages 40 to 60. There was no control group in this study because the investigators considered it unethical to leave patients in severe pain with no treatment for the entire 23-week period of the study. Motion of the scapula was measured three times before starting the therapy to establish a baseline value for movement of the shoulder blades. Participants underwent hydrotherapy for 45 minutes, twice a week, for 16 weeks. Evaluations were done at eight weeks and at the end of the study, at 16 weeks. Evaluations included the assessment of scapular motion during raising and lowering the arm in two different positions; pain intensity during arm movement, and the pressure pain threshold (PPT) over 18 fibromyalgia tender points. PPT is defined as the minimal amount of pr
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