The association between daily physical exercise and pain among women with fibromyalgia: the moderating role of pain catastrophizing
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a multifaceted, multifactorial chronic pain disorder characterized by various symptoms such as widespread pain, difficulty with sleep, cognitive difficulties, depression, anxiety, and fatigue.18 Fibromyalgia affects predominantly women, and the broad array of FM symptoms and contributory factors suggests a strong biopsychosocial basis for the condition. Many of the most effective treatments for FM pain symptomatology involve mind-body treatments that emphasize physical activity along with a cognitive and emotional focus (eg, yoga and movement therapies). Previous research on the role of exercise in FM has shown that short-term aerobic training can lead to improvements in physical function, and strength training can improve pain, wellbeing, and physical function, as well as decrease tender points and depression.
Hence, current guidelines for patients with FM recommend individually tailored exercise programs including aerobic exercise and strength training. Generally, activity studies have demonstrated that patients with FM are physically deconditioned, with low levels of cardiorespiratory endurance and decreased muscle strength. Although activity has been identified as an important intervention for FM symptom management, patient adherence with recommended activity regimens are often suboptimal.