Effects of thermal therapy combining sauna therapy and underwater exercise in patients with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic disorder that is characterized by widespread pain with localized tenderness. We aimed to investigate whether thermal therapy combining sauna therapy and underwater exercise improved pain, symptoms, and quality of life (QOL) in FMS patients. Forty-four female FMS patients who fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria received 12-week thermal therapy program comprising sauna therapy once daily for 3 days/week and underwater exercise once daily for 2 days/week. Pain, symptoms, and QOL were assessed using a pain visual analog scale (VAS), a fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ), and a short form 36-item questionnaire (SF-36), respectively. All of the patients reported significant reductions in pain and symptoms of 31-77% after the 12-week thermal therapy program, which remained relatively stable (28-68%) during the 6-month follow-up period (that is, the thermal therapy program improved both the short-term and the long-term VAS and FIQ scores). Improvements were also observed in the SF-36 score. Thermal therapy combining sauna therapy and underwater exercise improved the QOL as well as the pain and symptoms of FMS patients.
AuthorsShuji Matsumoto, Megumi Shimodozono, Seiji Etoh, Ryuji Miyata, Kazumi Kawahira
JournalComplementary therapies in clinical practice (Complement Ther Clin Pract) Vol. 17 Issue 3 Pg. 162-6 (Aug 2011) ISSN: 1873-6947 [Electronic] England
PMID21742283 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article)
CopyrightCopyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Exercise Therapy (methods)
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia (complications, therapy)
  • Humans
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain (etiology)
  • Pain Management (methods)
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life
  • Steam Bath
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult

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