Reduction in Pain After Use of Bioceramic Undershirt for Patients With Fibromyalgia

Altern Ther Health Med. 2017 Sep;23(5):18-22.


Context • The treatment of pain in fibromyalgia (FM) has centered on pharmacotherapy and nonpharmacological treatment. The nondrug treatments for FM include the effects of far infrared radiation (FIR). Currently, FIR-emitting heat lamps and garments made of filaments (fibers) impregnated with FIR-emitting nanoparticles are being used to deliver thermal radiation effects. Objective • The study intended to determine the benefits of a fabric coated with bioceramics for reducing pain in women with FM. Design • The research team designed a randomized, controlled pilot study. Setting • The study was conducted in the laboratory of the Department of Corporal Expression, University of Jaén (Jaén, Spain). Participants • Thirty-nine female participants diagnosed with FM took part in the study. Intervention • Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental (intervention) group (EG), n = 20, or a placebo group (PG), n = 19. The EG wore a shirt impregnated with bioceramics, and the PG dressed in a shirt without bioceramics. Both groups wore the shirts for 8 h/d for 60 d. Outcome Measures • Participants were evaluated twice, at baseline and postintervention. The tests used were (1) a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain, (2) the FM Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), and (3) the Short Form-12 health survey. The research team measured each participant's weight, height, and body mass index and evaluated their tender points. The research team also tracked participants' daily use of pain medications as a daily tablet intake. Results • Postintervention, the women in the EG showed a significant reduction in pain: (1) on the VAS (P < .001), (2) on the measurement of tender points (P < .001), and (3) on the algometer score (P < .001), as well as (4) a significant reduction in FM symptoms on the FIQ (P = .005) and (5) a reduction in daily tablet intake (P < .001). No significant changes in the PG group were found. Significant differences existed between the groups for the VAS, the FIQ, tender points, and the algometer score in posttest evaluation (P < .05). Conclusions • Regular use of garments impregnated with a bioceramic solution (1%) can be beneficial in reducing pain and the impact of FM for patients. The low cost and comfort of the clothing make the therapy easy to be applied as a complementary tool in the treatment of FM.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Ceramics*
  • Clothing*
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pilot Projects
  • Treatment Outcome