PILATES-BASED EXERCISE FOR FIBROMYALGIA; MULTIPLE CASE REPORT
AUTHOR; Ostalecki,S. Ph.D.; Gentle Pilates, Novi, MI, USA.
SUBJECTS: 15 subjects (3 Male, 12 Female); mean age 55 years, age range 50-65.
MATERIAL/METHODS: Inclusion criteria: Community dwelling adults with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Subjects volunteered to participate in 2x per week 50-minute mat class for 4 months taught by a PMA/Polestar certified instructor.
Subjects received the following pre-tests and post-test at 6 weeks and then at the conclusion of the study.
Fibromyalgia (FM) Impact Questionnaire (FIQR)
Assessing: Function, Symptoms, and Overall Life Activities
Universal Pain Assessment Tool
Assessing: Weekly Pain levels
Heel raise test, Goal Post, ½ squat, Spine Extension (prone), core strength (supine)
KEY WORDS: Pilates based mat exercise, Gentle Pilates, Pain, Fibromyalgia
Results: All of the subjects completed the study, even though less than half of patients in our study were provided recommendations to initiate an exercise program as part of their treatment plan.
Post test at 6 weeks showed improvements in the following areas: level of pain, 2 points, level of energy, 2 points, level of stiffness, 6 points, level of depression, 6 points, balance, 3 points, heel raise: increase in reps from 2 to 5. Pain levels fluctuated which is typical of FM patients, but assessment was in the 4-6 ranges as opposed to the starting range 9-10. The most significant changes were seen in pain levels, depression and ease of movement. At the onset of the study participants moved slowly and had difficulty getting down to the floor, and up.
Conclusion: Gentle Pilates group exercise, mat based program, appears to improve physical function well being, balance and also decrease pain. A small percentage of the participants reported they have reduced pain medications. The comradery of the group was important; and gave support to the group as a whole, which contributed to the high attendance, at each class. The program will now continue at a low fee for Fibromyalgia patients; and it is recommended to include home-based physical activity as an exercise intervention for individuals with fibromyalgia. It is also important to offer phone or in person contact so Fibromyalgia participants could receive feedback/support, on their home-based activities
Also, a randomized controlled trial is recommended to compare the use of Pilate equipment (reformer, Cadillac, chair & spine corrector) with a mat based (Gentle Pilates) program.