BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and other symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety. Exercise, including strength training (ST), has been shown to reduce the symptoms of FM, but there is a need for more information on optimal training protocols. This study aimed to analyze the effects of ST in the treatment of FM through a systematic review of the research on this topic.
The researchers identified 22 eligible studies examining the effects of ST on FM. They excluded studies using combined interventions, such as ST with aerobic training. The major outcome measures were pain, sleep, strength, function, fatigue, and quality of life.
The studies used different ST protocols. The interventions ranged from 3 to 21 weeks, usually 2 sessions per week, at intensities of 40% of 1-repetition maximum, for 4 to 20 repetitions.
The studies showed that ST had numerous beneficial effects, including reduced pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety, and improved sleep, strength, and quality of life. Here are some specific findings of interest: