Does fibromyalgia affect physical activity due to pain?

Agri. 2023 Apr;35(2):63-67. doi: 10.14744/agri.2022.54533.


Objectives: The aim of this case-control study was to evaluate the physical activity levels of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and to assess a possible relation between physical activity and FMS characteristics.

Methods: Seventy patients with FMS and 50 age-gender-matched controls were included. Pain was evaluated using the visual analog scale. The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) scoring system was used for the evaluation of the impact of FMS. Furthermore, for assessing the physical activity in our participants, we used the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). The Mann-Whitney U and Pearson's correlation tests were used for group comparisons and correlation analyses.

Results: The patients presented significantly less transportation-related, recreational, and total physical activity levels, besides reporting significantly less time spent walking and less time spent in vigorous activities than controls (p<0.05). Furthermore, there was a negative correlation between pain and the scores of self-reported moderate or vigorous physical activity (r=-0.41, p<0.01) in patients. However, we could not find any correlation between FIQ and IPAQ scores.

Conclusion: Patients with FMS are physically less active than healthy individuals. This reduced activity seems to be associated with pain, but not with the impact of the disease. In the management of the patient with FMS, considering the patient's physical activity behavior negatively affected by pain may contribute to holistic approach to the patients.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Exercise
  • Fibromyalgia*
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires