Hydrotherapy Benefits Fibromyalgia Patients Only If They Stick With It, Study Reveals

Hydrotherapy Benefits Fibromyalgia Patients

Hydrotherapy — physical exercise performed in water — can effectively improve clinical symptoms of fibromyalgia only if performed continuously.
That finding was drawn from data collected in a randomized, controlled trial, reported recently in the study “Effects of aquatic training and detraining on women with fibromyalgia: controlled randomized clinical trial.” The study was published in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

Several non-pharmacological strategies have been proposed to manage fibromyalgia symptoms. Among the non-pharmacological possibilities is aquatic physical training, or hydrotherapy, which consists of an aerobic physical training program that is conducted in a heated pool. This alternative treatment option reduced pain and improved the quality of life of fibromyalgia patients.


To have a better understanding of the benefits of hydrotherapy, Brazilian researchers conducted a controlled trial. The study enrolled a total of 54 women with clinically diagnosed fibromyalgia who were randomly assigned to undergo hydrotherapy or just perform their normal daily life activities.
The training program consisted of 32 sessions of 45 minutes, twice a week, for a total of 16 weeks. Each session included a 10-minute warm-up phase, 30 minutes of intense exercise, and five minutes of relaxation exercises.


After 16 weeks of hydrotherapy training the participants showed a significant improvement in their aerobic capacity compared to baseline levels, and compared to those in the control group. Also, after the training program the patients said they experienced less fatigue and anxiety, and improved well-being, functional capacity, and vitality.
The patients showed a 7% reduction in pain scores, 192% increase in SF-36 physical function, and a reduction of 19% in FIQ score after completion of the 16 weeks of therapy.
However, these positive effects were lost during the following 16 weeks, in which the participants stopped the training program. 


The team believes that aquatic physical training “should be continuously performed in order to improve clinical symptomatology and increase the aerobic functional capacity” of those living with fibromyalgia.

Research into hydrotherapy for fibromyalgia

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  1. I loved hydrotherapy when I tried it! Sadly, my nose didn't. I'm currently looking for a pool to use where they use bromine instead of chlorine. Right now, I have to settle for my own hottub.

  2. Yes I completely understand as I have multiple chemical sensitivity.

  3. Once again. Study about woman only. What men don't get it no?


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