Efficacy of hydrotherapy in fibromyalgia syndrome–a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials

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

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