Background Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome found predominantly in women. It is characterised by chronic, diffuse, musculoskeletal pain and a sleep disorder, without evidence of arthritis or myositis.
Objectives The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of aerobic exercise and education with the control group in fibromyalgia syndrome and to evaluate the patients treated with this method after the treatment program.
Methods Sixty women, aged 18–55 years, diagnosed as fibromyalgia according to 1990 ACR criteria were randomly divided into two groups. Group I was given aerobic exercise and stretching exercise for 8 weeks following an education program. Group II was the control group. Both groups took sertralin 50 mg/day. The patients were evaluated before and after the treatment. We used VAS, number of tender points, total myalgic score for pain, Beck depression inventory (BDI) for depression, Patient and doctor global assessment scale, Fibromyalgia attitudes index (FAI) for global assessment, Fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ), Health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) for functional evaluation, Astrand test for aerobic capacity.
Results The results of VAS, number of tender points, total myalgic score, BDI, FAI, FIQ, HAQ and patient and doctor global assessment scale showed significant improvement in both groups (p < 0.001, p < 0.01). In the first group, the results of VO2max showed significant improvement (p < 0.001). The results of some groups of FIQ, SELF function subscale, FAI and BDI were not statistically different among the two groups (p > 0.05). We found significant improvement in other parameters in exercise group than the control group.
Conclusion Fibromyalgia is a multifactorial syndrome, and the best treatment will encompass multiple strategies, that include education, stress management treatment and aerobic exercise.
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