Effects of concurrent strength and endurance training on physical fitness and symptoms in postmenopausal women with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial

Heli Valkeinen, Markku Alén, Arja Häkkinen, Pekka Hannonen, Katriina Kukkonen-Harjula, Keijo Häkkinen
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2008, 89 (9): 1660-6

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effectiveness of concurrent strength and endurance training on muscle strength, aerobic and functional performance, and symptoms in postmenopausal women with fibromyalgia (FM).

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Local gym and university research laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-six women with FM.

INTERVENTION: Progressive and supervised 21-week concurrent strength and endurance training.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Muscle strength of leg extensors, upper extremities, and trunk; peak oxygen uptake (Vo(2)peak), maximal workload (Wmax), and work time; 10-m walking and 10-step stair-climbing time and self-reported functional capacity (Health Assessment Questionnaire); and symptoms of FM.

RESULTS: After concurrent strength and endurance training, the groups differed significantly in Wmax (P=.001), work time (P=.001), concentric leg extension force (P=.043), walking (P=.001) and stair-climbing (P<.001) time, and fatigue (P=.038). The training led to an increase of 10% (P=.004) in Wmax and 13% (P=.004) in work time on the bicycle but no change in Vo(2)peak.

CONCLUSIONS: Concurrent strength and endurance training in low to moderate volume improves the muscle strength of leg extensors, Wmax, work time, and functional performance as well as perceived symptoms, fatigue in particular. Concurrent strength and endurance training is beneficial to postmenopausal women with FM without adversities, but more extensive studies are needed to confirm the results.

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