Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a 6-week traditional exercise program with supplementary whole-body vibration (WBV) in improving health status, physical functioning, and main symptoms of fibromyalgia (FM) in women with FM.
Methods: Thirty-six (36) women with FM (mean +/- standard error of the mean age 55.97 +/- 1.55) were randomized into 3 treatment groups: exercise and vibration (EVG), exercise (EG), and control (CG). Exercise therapy, consisting of aerobic activities, stretching, and relaxation techniques, was performed twice a week (90 min/day). Following each exercise session, the EVG underwent a protocol with WBV, whereas the EG performed the same protocol without vibratory stimulus. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) was administered at baseline and 6 weeks following the initiation of the treatments. Estimates of pain, fatigue, stiffness, and depression were also reported using the visual analogue scale.
Results: A significant 3 x 2 (group x time)-repeated measures analysis of variance interaction was found for pain (p = 0.018) and fatigue (p = 0.002) but not for FIQ (p = 0.069), stiffness (p = 0.142), or depression (p = 0.654). Pain and fatigue scores were significantly reduced from baseline in the EVG, but not in the EG or CG. In addition, the EVG showed significantly lower pain and fatigue scores at week 6 compared to the CG, whereas no significant differences were found between the EG and CG (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Results suggest that a 6-week traditional exercise program with supplementary WBV safely reduces pain and fatigue, whereas exercise alone fails to induce improvements.