Monday, December 20, 2010

If you know someone with fibromyalgia, encourage them to swim: New study suggest swimming as potential treatment.

The study below was a collaborative effort between fibromyalgia researchers in both Spain and Portugal. The results were extracted form the journal, Arthritis Research & Therapy.

Essentially, they put these people into a Masters Swimming program from the sound of it... From the Environmental Illness Report:

"... NarcĂ­s Gusi and Pablo Tomas-Carus, both experts in sports science, conducted a randomized controlled trial which involved a thirty-three women with fibromyalgia. Their aim was to find an alternative aporoach to the treatment of the disabling condition based on their knowledge of sports science. patients to find an alternative approach.

The participants were split into two groups with seventeen then taking part in a swimming pool exercise program with the remaining sixteen living as they normally would.

The supervised training exercises took place in a heated swimming pool and each session lasted for an hour. During each session the women stood in waist-high water while an instructor guided them through a warm-up, strength exercises, aerobics, and a cool-down period. The participants attended the pool for these exercise sessions three times per week over a period of 8 months. ..."

So, if you know any fibromyalgia suffers, hook them up with swim coach.


EricT said...

It sounds like they're doing water aerobics "standing in waist high water."

It's an interesting study for sure. But I'm not sure if the effect can be attributed to "swimming" (or water aerobics) specifically, because the control can essentially be considered sedentary.

This is really a study of exercise vs. non-exercise. And I don't think anyone would be surprised that regular exercise improves overall health.

G. John Mullen said...

Good points EricT, there is poor evidence on proper rehabilitation for patients with fibromyalgia, but exercise does seem to improve symptoms. As much as I love swimming, exercise is the big factor in this study, not swimming.

Tony Austin said...

Shhhhh, I am trying to make more swimmers! ;-)

erica said...

As a swimmer AND fibro patient, it really comes down to movement... the more movement the better. I think swimming tends to be a nice choice because of the lack of impact and the soothing nature of the water.

So yes, it'd be great to simply get more people swimming, but if you know someone with fibromyalgia, by all means, just encourage them to get up and move! It might be rough at first, but the benefits are huge.