Physical Fitness May Help Improve Fibromyalgia Pain

Physical activity and fitness seem to have a positive effect on both the mental and physical characteristics of chronic pain.

This population-based cross-sectional study aimed to characterize the association of different components of physical fitness with pain levels, pain-related catastrophizing and chronic pain self-efficacy in women with fibromyalgia (FM).

Four hundred sixty-eight women with FM participated. The experience of pain was assessed with different tools (algometry, numerical rating scale [revised FM impact questionnaire], visual analogue scale and bodily pain subscale [SF-36 health survey]). We also assessed pain-related catastrophizing and chronic pain self-efficacy. Physical fitness was assessed with performance-based tests (Senior Fitness Test battery and handgrip dynamometry). A standardized composite score was computed for each component of physical fitness (aerobic fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and motor agility), and their average comprised a clustered ‘global fitness profile’. 

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