We studied the effects of a specific cardio training program lasting 5 years on pain and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients.
An observational longitudinal pilot study was conducted in 138 fibromyalgia women. Fibromyalgia women recruited were asked to carry out three sessions per week, each lasting 45 min, of moderate-intensity continuous training (64%-75% Maximal Heart rate [HRmax]). During the first year, the patients progressively increased their training intensity. During the last 2 years, the patients were asked to associate moderate-intensity continuous training and high-intensity interval training (85%-90% HRmax). Pain on a visual analog scale, anxiety and depression state on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, impact of fibromyalgia on daily life using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, heart rate and sleep quality (visual analog scale) were assessed at baseline and each year for 5 years.
Forty-nine patients dropped out in the first year. Depending on their training status, the remaining 89 patients were retrospectively assigned to one of the three groups: Active (moderate-intensity continuous training), Semi-Active (one or two sessions, low-intensity continuous training <60% HRmax) and Passive (non-completion of training), based on their ability to comply with the program. Alleviation of all symptoms ( < 0.0001) was observed in the Active group. Increasing exercise intensity enhanced the effects obtained with moderate-intensity continuous training. Significant change in the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire ( < 0.0001) and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale;  < 0.0001), and no significant decrease in pain were noted in the Semi-Active group. No effect of the training was observed in the Passive group.
The study intervention associated with multidisciplinary care alleviated pain, anxiety and depression, and improved both quality of life and quality of sleep, in fibromyalgia patients.

© The Author(s) 2020.
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