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Efficacy of supervised exercise combined with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in women with fibromyalgia: a prospective controlled study


The aim of this study was to investigate the results of a supervised exercise with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in an exercise controlled study in women with fibromyalgia. Sixty-six women with fibromyalgia who admitted to the outpatient clinic of our hospital were randomized into two treatment groups. The patients in both groups participated in a supervised combined exercise program for 12 weeks. The women in first group had additional TENS in the first 3 weeks of the study. All subjects were analyzed at the baseline, at the end of the 3rd and 12th weeks. Outcome measures were tender point count (TPC), myalgic pain score (MPS), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) Health Survey. Sixty women with fibromyalgia completed the study. The patients in both groups showed improvement in terms of TPC, MPS, FIQ, physical and mental summary scores and total scores of SF-36 at the end of the 3rd and 12th weeks. The improvement in MPS at the third week was higher in the first group (p = 0.01). But there was no difference in terms of the improvement in MPS between the groups at the end of the 12th week control (p = 0.87). There was no significant difference between the improvement in the other outcome parameters of the two groups. As a result, supervised exercise program was successful to improve the myalgic pain, functional status and quality of life in women with fibromyalgia. Exercises combined with TENS might be useful due to quick myalgic pain relief in the treatment of fibromyalgia in everyday practice.

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Correspondence to N. Paker.

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Mutlu, B., Paker, N., Bugdayci, D. et al. Efficacy of supervised exercise combined with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in women with fibromyalgia: a prospective controlled study. Rheumatol Int 33, 649–655 (2013).

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  • Exercise
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Quality of life
  • TENS