Background Fibromyalgia is a painful musculoskeletal disorder that compromises function and quality of life. Studies show that no single treatment is completely effective in all patients and many of them seek complementary and alternative medicine. However its evidence is still insufficient.
Objectives This clinical trial aimed to verify the effectiveness of Shiatsu (Japanese massage technique) in the improvement of pain, sleep quality and balance confidence of fibromyalgia patients.
Methods This study involved 34 women aged 33 to 62 years, divided into two groups: Shiatsu Group (SG; n=17), which received 16 sessions of Shiatsu lasting 50 minutes, twice a week, and Control Group (CG; n=17), who received educational guidance through a booklet. Both groups were evaluated before and after 8 weeks. The following instruments were used: Visual Analog Pain Scale, Dolorimeter, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale. Intergroup statistical analysis was performed using the t-test for data sets with normal distribution and the same variance and Mann-Whitney Rank Sum Test for data sets without normal distribution or equal variance. The significance level was α=0.05.
Results At baseline, both groups were similar for all variables. After eight weeks, SG showed statistically significant improvement in pain (p=0.015), tender point pain threshold (p<0,001) and sleep quality (p=0.018), when compared with the CG. There was no statistically significant difference for balance confidence between groups.
Conclusions The results indicate that the Shiatsu technique is effective in improving pain, tenderness and sleep quality in fibromyalgia patients.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared