Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by chronic pain and associated comorbidities such as fatigue, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. There is a large amount of evidence regarding the benefits of physical exercise in controlling chronic pain. However, there is no consensus on which exercise modality is most suitable and the real benefits of this intervention to treat FM symptoms. The present study investigated the analgesic and antidepressant effects and morphophysiological responses induced by different physical exercise (aerobic and strength protocols) during the experimental model of FM. Spontaneous pain, mechanical hyperalgesia, thermal allodynia, depression-related behavior, and locomotor activity were evaluated weekly, as well as the morphological evaluation of the spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion. Aerobic and strength training protocols consistently abolished nociceptive behaviors, reducing spontaneous pain scores, cold allodynia, and frequency of response to mechanical hyperalgesia. The strength exercise could modulate the depressive-like behavior. Finally, our data demonstrated that physical exercise performed for two weeks increased the number of glial cells in the dorsal root horn. However, it was not sufficient to control the other deleterious effects of the reserpine model on the spinal cord and the dorsal root. Together, these results demonstrated that different physical exercise modalities, when performed regularly in mice, proved to be effective and safe non-pharmacological alternatives for the treatment of FM. However, some gaps have yet to be studied regarding the neuroadaptive effects of physical exercise.
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