Exercise Therapy for Fibromyalgia
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Fibromyalgia syndrome, a chronic condition typically characterized by widespread pain, nonrestorative sleep, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and other somatic symptoms, negatively impacts physical and emotional function and reduces quality of life. Exercise is commonly recommended in the management of people with fibromyalgia, and interest in examining exercise benefits for those with the syndrome has grown substantially over the past 25 years. Research supports aerobic and strength training to improve physical fitness and function, reduce fibromyalgia symptoms, and improve quality of life. However, other forms of exercise (e.g., tai chi, yoga, Nordic walking, vibration techniques) and lifestyle physical activity also have been investigated to determine their effects. This paper highlights findings from recent randomized controlled trials and reviews of exercise for people with fibromyalgia, and includes information regarding factors that influence response and adherence to exercise to assist clinicians with exercise and physical activity prescription decision-making to optimize health and well-being.
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