Complementary and alternative exercise for fibromyalgia: a meta-analysis

J Pain Res. 2013;6:247-60. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S32297. Epub 2013 Mar 27.


Complementary and alternative medicine includes a number of exercise modalities, such as tai chi, qigong, yoga, and a variety of lesser-known movement therapies. A meta-analysis of the current literature was conducted estimating the effect size of the different modalities, study quality and bias, and adverse events. The level of research has been moderately weak to date, but most studies report a medium-to-high effect size in pain reduction. Given the lack of adverse events, there is little risk in recommending these modalities as a critical component in a multimodal treatment plan, which is often required for fibromyalgia management.

Keywords: complementary and alternative; efficacy; exercise; fibromyalgia; safety.