Session Type: Abstract Submissions (ACR)
Background/Purpose: A basic tenet of the treatment of FMS is that exercise decreases symptoms of the illness. We compared FMS and RA patients to assess their ability to exercise and the impact of exercise on their pain.
Methods: 211 office patients with FMS (150; 130 women and 20 men; mean age 51 + 12) or RA (61; 45 women and 16 men; mean age 55 + 15) completed a questionnaire about their ability to exercise, types of exercise, and effect of exercise on their pain (rated as 1 = much worse, 2 = moderately worse, 3 = somewhat worse, 4 = no change, 5 = somewhat better, 6 = moderately better, and 7 = much better). The chi-square test of association was done to compare FMS and RA patients with respect to percentages, and the two-sided Mann-Whitney test was done to compare them with respect to the ratings, using a 0.05 significance level.
Results: 71% of FMS patients and 67% of RA patients reported exercising (ns). FMS patients were less likely to report being able to exercise (74% vs. 87%, ns). The exercise impact ratings were significantly worse for FMS patients compared to RA patients (median 3 vs. 4, p = 0.017). 60% of FMS patients reported that exercise made their pain somewhat, moderately, or much worse, compared to 35% of RA patients. 20% of FMS patients reported that exercise made their pain much worse, compared to only 6% of RA patients. Walking was by far the most common type of exercise, reported by 66% of FMS patients and 70% of RA patients. All other types of exercise were reported by 20% or fewer FMS or RA patients. High-impact exercise such as jogging was rarely reported by FMS or RA patients.
Conclusion: Almost two-thirds of FMS patients reported that exercise made their pain worse, compared to only about a third of RA patients. Exercise programs that can be tolerated by FMS and RA patients need to be designed with input from patients. Although exercise is generally recommended for FMS patients, current exercise programs appear likely to make their pain worse.
R. S. Katz,
B. J. Small,
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/i-work-out-exercise-appears-to-increase-fms-pain/