Effects of resistance training and chiropractic treatment in women with fibromyalgia

J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Mar;15(3):321-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0132.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate resistance training (RES) and RES combined with chiropractic treatment (RES-C) on fibromyalgia (FM) impact and functionality in women with FM.

Design: The design of the study was a randomized control trial.

Setting: Testing and training were completed at the university and chiropractic treatment was completed at chiropractic clinics.

Participants: Participants (48 +/- 9 years; mean +/- standard deviation) were randomly assigned to RES (n = 10) or RES-C (n = 11).

Intervention: Both groups completed 16 weeks of RES consisting of 10 exercises performed two times per week. RES-C received RES plus chiropractic treatment two times per week.

Outcome measures: Strength was assessed using one repetition maximum for the chest press and leg extension. FM impact was measured using the FM impact questionnaire, myalgic score, and the number of active tender points. Functionality was assessed using the 10-item Continuous Scale Physical Functional Performance test. Analyses of variance with repeated measures compared groups before and after the intervention.

Results: Six (6) participants discontinued the study: 5 from RES and 1 from RES-C. Adherence to training was significantly higher in RES-C (92.0 +/- 7.5%) than in RES (82.8 +/- 7.5%). Both groups increased (p < or = 0.05) upper and lower body strength. There were similar improvements in FM impact in both groups. There were no group interactions for the functionality measures. Both groups improved in the strength domains; however, only RES-C significantly improved in the pre- to postfunctional domains of flexibility, balance and coordination, and endurance.

Conclusions: In women with FM, resistance training improves strength, FM 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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Lifting*
  • Women's Health