Tomas-Carus (2009) Improvements of muscle strength predicted benefits in HRQoL and postural balance in women with fibromyalgia an 8-month randomized controlled trial


Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, significantly affecting health-related quality of life (HRQOL). This study aimed to investigate the impact of an 8-month aquatic training program on muscle strength, HRQOL, and postural balance in women with FM.


The study involved 30 women with FM who were randomized into an experimental group undergoing aquatic training or a control group. Muscle strength was measured using isokinetic tests, and postural balance was assessed through the one-leg stance test. HRQOL was evaluated using the SF-36 Health Survey.


Participants in the aquatic training group showed significant improvements in muscle strength, particularly in concentric and eccentric knee extensors and flexors at low movement velocities. Postural balance also improved notably. These physical improvements were accompanied by significant enhancements in several dimensions of HRQOL, including physical function, role physical problems, body pain, general health, vitality, role emotional problems, and mental health.

Predictive Analysis

The study found that gains in muscle strength, especially in concentric knee flexors and extensors, were predictive of improvements in HRQOL dimensions related to physical and emotional roles and mental health. Moreover, increased strength in eccentric knee extensors was associated with better postural balance.


The findings suggest that a long-term, moderate-intensity aquatic exercise program can lead to significant benefits in muscle strength, HRQOL, and postural balance for women with FM. Improvements in muscle strength were particularly influential in enhancing HRQOL and balance, indicating the importance of including strength training in FM management strategies.

Keywords: Fibromyalgia, aquatic training, muscle strength, HRQOL, postural balance, randomized controlled trial.

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