Traditional Chinese exercises relieve fibromyalgia

Background and objective: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common disorder characterized by heterogeneous symptoms that leads to decreased functioning, work productivity, and quality of life. Exercise has been recommended for fibromyalgia treatment. Traditional Chinese exercise (TCE), including Taichi, Qigong, Badunjin, Wuqinxi, etc., as a kind of mind-body exercise, plays an important role in alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome. The objective of this study is to summarize the available evidence, through meta-analysis, on the pain relief, quality of life, sleep improvement, and emotion regulation of fibromyalgia syndrome in Traditional Chinese exercise.

Methods: Databases of PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, Google scholar, CNKI, WANFANG DATA, VIP, etc. were used to search eligible studies that were published from the time of their inception to February 11, 2022, in English and Chinese. The included studies were divided into two groups: Traditional Chinese exercise group (experimental group) and control group. The Cochrane collaboration’s tool was used to assess the risk of bias, and Revman5.4.1 software was used to synthesize and analyze the data.

Results: A total of 12 literatures were included in this study, which contained 781 patients, and 448 of them were included in the treatment group, 333 of others in control group. Traditional Chinese exercise significantly alleviated pain [SMD = -0.83, 95% CI (-1.15, -0.51), p < .00001], improved quality of life [SMD = -0.53, 95% CI (-0.86, -0.19), p = .002] and improved qualities of sleep [SMD = -0.41, 95% CI (-0.57, -0.24), p < .00001] and relieved depression [SMD = -0.40, 95% CI (-0.69, -0.10), p < .008].

Conclusion: Traditional Chinese exercise may be a way to reduce pain, improve the quality of life and sleep, and relieve depression for fibromyalgia syndrome, and it could be part of the fibromyalgia syndrome treatment.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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