Basic Body Awareness Therapy for patients with fibromyalgia

Basic Body Awareness Therapy for fibromyalgia
The non-pharmacological management of Fibromyalgia (FM) has been the focus in many studies recently and seems to have a stronger impact on symptoms and quality of life than pharmacologic treatment. 

New psychological support therapy showing promising results in FM includes virtual Basic Body Awareness Therapy (BBAT).
BBAT is a movement awareness training programme that teaches patients how to correctly move, increasing awareness of body coordination. 
They are everyday movements such as sitting, standing, walking, and lying down and standing up. The movements are simple, small and soft, and are meant to foster more functional movement quality and habits.
Basic Body Awareness Therapy
IMAGE thanks to Amber Life Clinic 

In a randomised study, 20 FM patients assigned to BBAT and followed-up for 24 weeks showed a significant reduction in pain and anxiety scale scores compared to 21 people in the control group.
Introduction: The aim of the study was to assess whether Basic Body Awareness Therapy (BBAT) improves musculoskeletal pain, movement quality, psychological function, and quality of life.
Methods: The effects of BBAT in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) were studied in a randomized controlled trial. 
Forty-one patients were randomly assigned to a control group (n = 21) and an intervention group (n = 20). 
Both groups received TAU including pharmacological therapy. 
The intervention group took part in 10 BBAT sessions. Outcome variables were measured regarding pain, movement quality, psychological function, and quality of life. 
Outcome measures were assessed before intervention, in post test, and in follow-ups at 12 and 24 weeks. 
Results: The BBAT group showed significant improvement in 'pain' after the testing and in 'movement quality' from baseline to 24 weeks.  
Within the group analysis showed significant improvements in the SF-36 body pain subscale at 12 and 24 weeks, Hospital Anxiety Depression scale in anxiety subscale at 12 weeks, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory anxiety questionnaire at 12 and 24 weeks, and STAI state at 12 and 24 weeks
Conclusion: This study showed that BBAT is an effective intervention in patients suffering from fibromyalgia in relation to pain, movement quality, and anxiety.

BBAT has also shown significant effects in areas such as: 
  • Stroke (Lindvall, Anderzén, Carlsson, and Forsberg, 2016), 
  • Rheumatic diseases (Olsen and Skjaerven, 2016), 
  • Traumatized refugees (Madsen, Carlsson, Nordbrandt, and Jensen, 2016; Stade, Skammeritz, Hjortkaer, and Carlsson, 2015), 
  • Major depression (Danielsson and Rosberg, 2015), 
  • Chronic whiplash associated disorders (Seferiadis, Ohlin, Billhult, and Gunnarsson, 2016), 
  • Eating disorders (Catalan- Matamoros, 2007; Catalan-Matamoros et al., 2011; Thörnborg and Mattsson, 2010), 
  • Borderline personality disorders (Skatteboe, Friis, Hope, and Vaglum, 1989), 
  • Chronic pelvic pain (Mattsson, Wikman, Dahlgren, and Mattsson, 2000; Mattsson et al., 1997, 1998; Olsen et al., 2017), 
  • Long-lasting chronic pain (Bergström, Ejelöva, Mattsson, and Stålnacke, 2014)
Basic Body Awareness Therapy for fibromyalgia

If you are interested in doing BBAT you need to find a physiotherapist who has been trained to teach it.

Basic Body Awareness Therapy for fibro

FM RESEARCH SOURCE: BRAVO C, SKJAERVEN LH, ESPART A, GUITARD SEIN-ECHALUCE L, CATALAN-MATAMOROS D: Basic Body Awareness Therapy in patients suffering from fibromyalgia: A randomized clinical trial. Physiotherapy Theory Pract. 2018.


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