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Meeting Abstracts: CSM 2020 Aquatic Poster Abstracts

For Persons With Fibromyalgia, Does Aquatic Exercise Produce Clinically Meaningful Changes in FIQ/VAS Scores?

Aborde, Jan SPT; Barrientos, Alex Ruiz SPT; Nacef, Hanan Ben SPT; Patti, Anne SPT; Puglia, Vincenzo C. SPT; Sze, Amanda M. SPT; Van Wingerden, Anita Marie PT, DPT; Varughese, Annette Ann SPT; Wawszkowicz, Martin SPT

Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy: Summer 2020 - Volume 28 - Issue 1 - p 19
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Purpose/Hypothesis: To determine if aquatic exercise programs consisting of aerobic and anaerobic exercise for 50-60 minutes 3x/week could produce clinically meaningful changes in persons with Fibromyalgia (FM) as detected through improvements in the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS).

Number of Subjects: 207

Materials and Methods: The following databases were searched PubMed, PEDro, and Medline using keywords and time frames (2008-2018). The key words were selected based on PICO format using Boolean operators of “AND” and “OR.” Population search: fibromyalgia OR chronic pain syndrome. Intervention search: Aqua* therapy OR aqua* exercises OR hydro*therapy OR aqua* rehab* OR swim*. Outcomes search: quality of life. Inclusion criteria: subjects 18 or older, 3x/week for 50-60 minutes frequency, warm up, aerobic exercise, strengthening, cool down, VAS, and FIQ. Exclusion criteria: frequency >3x/week, frequency <3x/week, balneotherapy.

Results: Four articles met the inclusion criteria. All articles met criteria for level 1b evidence. Each study consisted of females diagnosed with FM with the average age of 43-50 years. A positive linear relationship was demonstrated between exercise dose and changes in FIQ and VAS scores. Moderate or higher intensity aerobic exercise as determined by heart rate greater than 60-65% Hrmax is hypothesized to explain greater changes in FIQ and VAS contrasted to lower intensity exercise of less than 60% Hrmax.

Conclusions: There is moderate evidence that moderate intensity aerobic aquatic exercise shows clinically meaningful improvements in VAS and FIQ scores.

Clinical Relevance: The studies reviewed support moderate intensity aquatic exercise incorporating warm-up, strength training, aerobic, and cool down components for 50-60 minutes 3x/week for a minimum of five weeks demonstrates improvements in quality of life and pain for persons with FM.

© 2020 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.