What is the role of aerobic exercise in the treatment of nonarticular rheumatism/regional pain syndromes?

Updated: Apr 04, 2018
  • Author: T P Sudha Rao, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Aerobic exercise may be used as follows:

  • Exercise helps decrease the symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome; however, too much exercise results in increased symptoms that are often severe. This can lead to a cycle of muscle disuse.

  • Tai chi has been shown to be beneficial in patients with fibromyalgia. In a study comparing Tai chi with aerobic exercise, greater improvement in symptom scores were noted in Tai chi groups. [39]
  • In one study, 9 of 16 patients worsened or reported no change after a 14-week aerobic training intervention; however, 3 of the 16 patients were able to maintain a program of aerobic exercise, and 4 years later, none of those patients fulfilled criteria for fibromyalgia. [40]

  • Aerobic therapy in a warm-water pool may be helpful, particularly for severe cases. [41]

  • Hoffman recently published a detailed program of graded exercise for fibromyalgia. [28]

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