Resistance Training and Chiropractic Treatment in Women with Fibromyalgia Syndrome
A recent study has found that resistance training is more helpful for women with Fibromyalgia Syndrome if it is combined with chiropractic treatment.
The randomised controlled study aimed to evaluate resistance training and resistance training combined with chiropractic treatment on the impact and functionality of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (Fibro) in women.
Twenty-one women with Fibro, who had an average age of 48 years, took part in the study. They were randomly assigned to either resistance training or resistance training combined with chiropractic treatment, with 10 women in the first group and 11 in the second.
Both groups completed 16 weeks of resistance training consisting of 10 exercises performed two times per week. The group assigned to receive both resistance training and chiropractic treatment also received chiropractic treatment two times per week.
Strength was assessed using one repetition maximum for the chest press and leg extension. Fibromyalgia Syndrome impact was measured using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, myalgic (pain) score, and the number of recorded tender points. Functionality was assessed using the 10-item Continuous Scale Physical Functional Performance test.
Six participants discontinued the study: 5 from the group receiving resistance training only and 1 from the group receiving resistance training combined with chiropractic treatment. Adherence to training was therefore significantly higher in the latter group.
Both groups increased upper and lower body strength and there were similar improvements in Fibromyalgia Syndrome impact in both groups as well as the strength domains of the functionality assessment.
However, only the group receiving resistance training combined with chiropractic treatment significantly improved in the pre- to postfunctional domains of flexibility, balance and coordination, and endurance.
The article concludes that:
"In women with [Fibromyalgia Syndrome], resistance training improves strength, [Fibromyalgia Syndrome] impact, and strength domains of functionality. The addition of chiropractic treatment improved adherence and dropout rates to the resistance training and facilitated greater improvements in the domains of functionality."
One factor in the beneficial effects of the chiropractic treatment may have been that many chiropractors perform some Myofascial Release as part of their treatments. Myofascial Pain is a common problem with Fibro and it can cause exercise to be more painful and less effective. If you think you may have myofascial trigger points, then a specialist doctor, or a physiotherapist or massage therapist with the specialist training in myofascial issues, should be able to check you out for these and help release them.
- Panton LB, Figueroa A, Kingsley JD, Hornbuckle L, Wilson J, John NS, Abood D, Mathis R, Vantassel J, McMillan V. Effects of Resistance Training and Chiropractic Treatment in Women with Fibromyalgia. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print]