Children with Fibromyalgia Function Better When Active

A study presented at the American Pain Society’s 28th Annual Scientific Meeting suggests that children with juvenile primary fibromyalgia syndrome (JPFS) have greater overall functioning (within the parameters of their illness) if they are highly active compared to the least active groups. Children/adolescents with JPFS reported in the study difficulties with:

  • functioning
  • psychiatric symptoms
  • decreased participation in physical activities
  • depression

Study participants wore a monitor that measured their rest and activity cycles.  Their data was sent to a computer that was later analyzed.

Lead study author Stacy R. Flowers, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, said about the study:

“Basically, what we expected to find was that physical activity was related to pain rating, depression, and functional disability. And when we looked at the overall sample, we found a lot of variability between the active and nonactive kids. “What we found was that higher activity had less pain intensity, lower depression, and lower functional impairment.”

Flowers said that the least-active adolescent spent 20 hours per day sedentary and the most active spent 225 minutes per day in vigorous activity.

The study revealed that the higher active children were younger than those who were not active. The younger/higher active group reported having less pain, while the less active group reported higher rates of depression, and were more functionally disabled.

Study participants (104 total) ranged in age from 11 years old to 18 years old.

Source: Doctor’s Guide

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