Aspects of flexibility of women with fibromyalgia syndrome

Aspectos da flexibilidade de mulheres com síndrome de fibromialgia

Marcos Bezerra de Almeida Mônica Oliveira Santos About the authors


Regular physical exercise tends to benefit people with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). The effects have been observed regarding aerobic power and strength; however, results concerning flexibility have been controversial. In general, studies have evaluated specific joints or tests involving only a single body movement. The aim of this study was to compare the flexibility profile of FMS and asymptomatic women using a more comprehensive test protocol regarding the number of movements and joints involved. The sample consisted of 30 women divided into two groups: asymptomatic (n = 15; mean age: 50.2 ± 8.2 years; mean weight: 63.0 ± 9.6 kg; mean height: 157 ± 6 cm) and fibromyalgia (n = 15; mean age: 47.3 ± 9.4 years; mean weight: 61.9 ± 12.2 kg; mean height: 159 ± 7 cm). Flexibility was measured using the Flexitest, which was evaluated by the global index of flexibility (Flexindex), and the five indices of variability of joint mobility: intermovement (IVIM), interjoint (IVIA), flexion-extension (IVFE), between segment (IVES) and distal-proximal (IVDP). All of the indices were calculated based on the results of the 20 movements of the Flexitest. There was no difference between groups (44.4 ± 3.7 vs. 45.7 ± 4.1 points, for asymptomatic and fibromyalgia, respectively; p = 0.379; 95% confidence interval (CI): -4.2 to 1.6). Most of the sample (83%) showed an average level of flexibility based on reference values for gender and age. Only IVIM showed a significant difference between the groups. Asymptomatic and fibromyalgic women have similar overall levels of flexibility but with different profiles.

Key words:
Chronic pain; Joints; Range of motion

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