Sophrology versus resistance training for treatment of women with fibromyalgia: A randomized controlled trial

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2019 Apr;23(2):382-389. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2018.02.005. Epub 2018 Feb 12.


Introduction: Physical training has been recommended to improve overall well-being in patients with fibromyalgia. Body relaxation exercises also seem to have some beneficial effect, however there is no consensus regarding this modality.

Objective: Comparing the effectiveness of sophrology and resistance training in improving the pain of women with fibromyalgia.

Method: A randomized controlled clinical trial with a blind evaluator. Sixty (60) women with a medical diagnosis of fibromyalgia were randomized and included in two groups: sophrology group (SG) who participated in a relaxation program based on sophrology (n = 30), and resistance group (RG) (n = 30) who participated in a resistance training program for biceps, pectoral, triceps, knee extensors, trapezius, knee flexors, hip abductors. Both groups were treated twice a week for 12 weeks and reevaluated every 4 weeks. The assessment instruments used were the Visual Analog Scale for Pain (VAS), the one-repetition maximum test (1 RM), the overall quality of life (SF-36), the 6-min walk test (6MWT), the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ).

Results: We found that the RG presented statistically significant decreases in pain (VAS) during the evaluations (p < 0.05) and increased strength of the evaluated muscles (p < 0.05). A statistically significant decrease in pain (p < 0.05) was observed in the SG compared to T0, with no significant differences in muscle strength. Differences between groups were observed, with better indices only for 6MWT and functional capacity domain of the SF36 for the RG (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: No differences in pain were found between the groups. Resistance training was more effective than sophrology in improving strength and functional capacity of women with fibromyalgia.

Keywords: Fibromyalgia; Pain; Quality of life; Resistance training; Sophrology.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Postural Balance
  • Quality of Life
  • Relaxation Therapy / methods*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Single-Blind Method