The purpose of this review was to systematically review the efficacy of hydrotherapy in FM syndrome (FMS). Ten out of 13 RCTs with 446 subjects were included into the meta-analysis. Only three studies had a moderate quality score. There was moderate evidence for reduction of pain and improved health-related quality of life (HRQOL) at the end of therapy. There was moderate evidence that the reduction of pain and improvement of HRQOL could be maintained at follow-up (median 14 weeks).
There is moderate evidence that hydrotherapy has short-term beneficial effects on pain and HRQOL in FMS patients. There is a risk to over-estimate the effects of hydrotherapy due to methodological weaknesses of the studies and to small trials included in meta-analysis.
Rheumatology 2009 48(9):1155-1159