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Impaired Trunk Posture in Women With Fibromyalgia

Sempere-Rubio, Núria, MSc; Aguilar-Rodríguez, Marta, PhD; Espí-López, Gemma V, PhD; Cortés-Amador, Sara, PhD; Pascual, Eliseo, PhD; Serra-Añó, Pilar, PhD

doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002681

Study Design. A cross-sectional study.

Objectives. The main goal of the study was to analyze posture of Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) in women compared with healthy subjects to establish if posture assessment could be useful to characterize the syndrome. Secondarily, we explored the impact of sedentary behavior on trunk posture.

Summary of Background Data. Pain has been associated with poor static postures, however there is little information on the effect of FMS, which is characterized by widespread pain, on trunk posture.

Methods. One hundred eighteen women with FMS and 110 healthy counterparts participated in this study, in which trunk posture was assessed. The thoracic kyphosis, forward head position, and shoulder position (basal and maximum protraction) were measured. Further, maximum shoulder protraction and the ability to maintain the cervical and thoracic angle were assessed. To compare the differences in posture depending on the grouping, an independent Student t test was conducted. To analyze the differences between groups in the ability to maintain the position over a period of time and the differences in posture depending on more or less active lifestyles, two multivariate analysis of variance were performed.

Results. The results showed a significantly larger thoracic kyphosis, baseline shoulder protraction and lower craniovertebral angle and maximum protraction in FMG compared with CG (P < 0.05). FMG subjects exhibited an impaired ability to maintain the cervical and thoracic angles, as this varied throughout the test, unlike those of their counterparts. A sedentary lifestyle did not affect trunk posture in the FMS participants.

Conclusion. FMS female population present an altered trunk posture and an inability to maintain trunk position. Since this does not appear to be influenced by a more or less active lifestyle, specific treatment programs are needed to manage this clinical condition.

Level of Evidence: 2

Physical Therapy Department, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Clinical Medicine Department, Miguel Hernández University, Sant Joan d’Alacant, Spain.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Pilar Serra-Añó, PhD, Gascó Oliag, 5, Valencia 46010, Spain; E-mail:

Received 12 February, 2018

Revised 12 March, 2018

Accepted 26 March, 2018

NS-R and MA-R contributed equally.

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s).

Conselleria d’Educació, Ciència i Esports [Valencian Regional Department of Education, Science and Sports], València, Spain [Grant GV2016/140] funds were received in support of this work.

No relevant financial activities outside the submitted work.

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