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Exercise for fibromyalgia syndrome - 2007 update

Clinical bottom line

There is no convincing evidence that exercise for fibromyalgia improves pain.


A Busch et al. Exercise for treating fibromyalgia syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007 Issue 4.

Systematic review



Randomised trials compared interventions that included an exercise component with an untreated control or a non-exercise intervention. Forty-seven separate interventions were assessed in these 34 trials. Only 10 of 34 studies had quality scores that excluded bias.


Given the variety of interventions, inclusion of low quality studies, and small numbers, no judgement of benefit could be considered safe. The study conclusion that there is gold level evidence that some interventions are effective is based on tiny numbers of patients in a small number of trials, some of which are likely to be the subject of bias.