Effectiveness of traditional Chinese exercise in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

Author: Mengmeng Du1,2, Xiujuan Hou1, Siyi Lu1,2, Tianlun Kang1,2, Yuan Li1,2, Ruoyi Wang1,2
1 Department of Rheumatology, Dongfang Hospital Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.
2 Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.
Conference/Journal: Int J Rheum Dis
Date published: 2023 Oct 9
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.14924. , Word Count: 274

Background and objective:
Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a common disorder characterized by heterogeneous symptoms that leads to decreased functioning, work productivity, and quality of life. Exercise has been recommended for fibromyalgia treatment. Traditional Chinese exercise (TCE), including Taichi, Qigong, Badunjin, Wuqinxi, etc., as a kind of mind-body exercise, plays an important role in alleviating symptoms of FMS. The objective of this study is to summarize the available evidence, through meta-analysis, on the pain relief, quality of life, sleep improvement, and emotion regulation of FMS in TCE.

Databases of PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library, Google scholar, CNKI, WANFANG DATA, VIP, etc. were used to search eligible studies that were published from the time of their inception to February 11, 2022, in English and Chinese. The included studies were divided into two groups: TCE group (experimental group) and control group. The Cochrane collaboration's tool was used to assess the risk of bias, and Revman5.4.1 software was used to synthesize and analyze the data.

A total of 12 literatures were included in this study, which contained 781 patients, and 448 of them were included in the treatment group, 333 of others in control group. TCE significantly alleviated pain [SMD = -0.83, 95% CI (-1.15, -0.51), p < .00001], improved quality of life [SMD = -0.53, 95% CI (-0.86, -0.19), p = .002] and improved qualities of sleep [SMD = -0.41, 95% CI (-0.57, -0.24), p < .00001] and relieved depression [SMD = -0.40, 95% CI (-0.69, -0.10), p < .008].

TCE may be a way to reduce pain, improve the quality of life and sleep, and relieve depression for FMS, and it could be part of the FMS treatment.

Keywords: effectiveness; fibromyalgia syndrome; meta-analysis; mind-body exercise; review; traditional Chinese exercise.

PMID: 37813823 DOI: 10.1111/1756-185X.14924