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Stretching and Strengthening Exercise in Fibromyalgia Patients: a Randomized Clinical Trial

The aim of this recently completed study was to assess the efficiency of strengthening and stretching exercise in the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and the patients' quality of life. The study was conducted at the General Clinical Hospital of Medicine School of the University of Sao Paulo.  Sixty three female Fibromyalgia patients aged between thirty and fifty five were included in the study.

These were divided into three groups:  Group 1 strengthening exercises ie exercises that aim to improve the muscular strength in the arms and legs; Group 2 stretching exercises ie exercises that aim to improve the muscular flexibility of arms, legs and spine and group 3 control group ie no kind of exercise.

Evaluations of the patients were done in different ways such as; impact questionnaire, pain measurement at tender points, muscular flexibility test, strength test, sit to stand test and functional reach test.  Members of groups one and two underwent strengthening and stretching programs lasting twelve weeks in which physical therapy twice a week was included.  The control group did not have any exercises during the twelve weeks but did enter the physical therapy program.

Both the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire as well as the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire.  The Data is currently being analysed and the conclusions will be updated following this analysis. You can check on the status of this trial here.

Information obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov December 9 2009.[]

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