Tailored exercise programmes for fibromyalgia: a clinical practical guide

Lucini D, Giovanelli L, Bazzichi L, Bernardelli G, Pellegrino G, Filippou G, Sarzi Puttini P.
Tailored exercise programmes for fibromyalgia: a clinical practical guide.
Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2024 Jun 19. doi: 10.55563/clinexprheumatol/k3qldz. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38910571.

Objectives: To evaluate the role of exercise in the management of fibromyalgia syndrome (FM) by addressing its complex pathogenesis involving central sensitisation, autonomic dysfunction, inflammation, and neurological irregularities, and examining how exercise impacts symptom exacerbation caused by external stressors and comorbid conditions.

Methods: This review synthesises evidence from current literature focusing on the benefits of structured and personalised exercise programmes in FM management. It discusses the importance of specifying exercise type, intensity, frequency, duration, and progression tailored to individual patient needs and clinical objectives.

Results: Regular physical activity effectively mitigates core aetiopathogenetic mechanisms of FM and improves associated conditions such as stress and obesity. It also provides benefits for preventing other chronic diseases, enhancing well-being, and promoting healthy ageing. Structured and personalised exercise programmes that start with a low-demand protocol and gradually increase exercise volume are most beneficial, by improving patient compliance and reducing the risk of adverse effects.

Conclusions: Effective management of FM requires a patient-centred approach integrating both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, with exercise playing a pivotal role. Personalised exercise prescriptions that consider FM patients' specific needs and limitations are crucial for optimising treatment outcomes and enhancing quality of life.

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