Background Physical exercise is troublesome for most patients with fibromyalgia (FM) due to activity-induced pain. A reason for activity-induced pain is a low pain threshold. In the present study we investigated if experience of physical activity changed after 15-week progressive person-centred resistance exercise. The control group participated in 15-week relaxation program.
Objectives To investigate how experience of physical activity changed after 15-week resistance exercise in women with FM, and if experiences correlated with pain threshold.
Methods 130 women (age 22–64 years, symptom duration 0–35 years) with FM were randomized to 15-week resistance exercise or to a parallel relaxation program. The participants completed Experience of physical activity scale (EPA) comprising five subscales (0–7), assessing how exercise was perceived in terms of Physical relaxation (PR), Well-being (WB), Activity beliefs (AB), Activity-related symptoms (ARS), and Activity Habits (AH) (1). A lower score indicates a higher satisfaction. Pain threshold was investigated with algometer. Within-group and between-group analyses were conducted by non-parametric statistics. Correlations between algometry and ratings on EPA were investigated by Spearman correlation coefficient.
ResultsThe resistance exercise group scored significantly higher satisfaction at posttest than before the intervention in their ratings on how they experienced exercise in terms of PR, WB, ARS and AH (p<0.05), Table 1.
Between-group analyses showed that the resistance exercise group scored significantly higher satisfaction in ARS subscale (p<0.006) after the intervention when compared to the relaxation group.
Significant correlations were found between algometry and PR (rs -0.32, p=0.017) as well as ARS (-0.33, p=0.015) at post-test in the resistance exercise group.
Conclusions Women with FM experienced a higher satisfaction with activity-related symptoms after having participated in a person-centered resistance exercise program, which is an important knowledge for health care professionals when motivating patients for exercise. Correlations between algometry and ratings on PR and ARS indicate that activity-related symptoms are partly associated with the pain threshold.
Mannerkorpi K, Rivano-Fischer M, Ericsson A, Nordeman L, Gard G. Experience of physical activity in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain. Disabil Rehabil 2008;30 (3):213–21.
Disclosure of Interest None declared