Hydrotherapy for Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Effect of hydrotherapy on quality of life, functional capacity and sleep quality in patients with fibromyalgia: prospective self-controlled study

By Kyara Morgana Oliveira Moura Silva, PT and Silvia Jurema Pereira Tucano, PT, Member of the Research Group on Hydrotherapy in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Adventista de São Paulo (UNASP); Claudia Kümpe, Master's degree, Professor of the Physical Therapy and Administration Courses; Antonio Adolfo Mattos de Castro, PhD candidate, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (Unifesp); Professor of the Physical Therapy Course, Universidade Federal do Pampa – Unipampa; Elias Ferreira Porto, PhD candidate, Unifesp, Professor of the Physical Therapy Course, UNASP | SP, Brazil, December 2012

Fibromyalgia affects 8% of the population over the age of 40 years. 75% of the patients with fibromyalgia have sleep problems and chronic daytime fatigue. The aim of this study is to assess the effects of hydrotherapy on the physical function and sleep quality of patients with fibromyalgia.


Patients were under clinical care at the Centro Universitário Adventista de São Paulo (UNASP) Outpatient Clinic. This study assessed 60 female with fibromyalgia (age 30-65). Out of the 60 patients assessed, 20 were excluded and 10 left the study because they could not comply with the time schedule. All patients completed the following questionnaires: Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ); Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Training sessions were performed twice a week for two months, each session lasting 60 minutes.


Patients' mean age was 45 years, 66% were active workers, and 34% had quit work. Right after the hydrotherapy program, the patients improved the following aspects assessed by use of the FIQ: physical function, work absenteeism, ability to do job, pain intensity, fatigue, morning tiredness, stiffness (P < 0.0001), anxiety (P = 0,0013), and depression (P < 0.0001). Sleep quality (P < 0.0001) and daytime sleepiness (P = 0.0003) also improved.


Hydrotherapy improves sleep quality, physical function, professional status, psychological disorders and physical symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia.

PMID: 23223696