Muscle hypertrophy, strength development, and serum hormones during strength training in elderly women with fibromyalgia.Scand J Rheumatol. 2005 Jul-Aug; 34(4):309-14.SJ
To examine the effects of strength training on maximal force, cross-sectional area (CSA), and electromyographic (EMG) activity of muscles and serum hormone concentrations in elderly females with fibromyalgia (FM).
Twenty-six patients with FM were randomly assigned to a training (FMT; n = 13; mean age 60 years) or a control (FMC; n = 13; 59 years) group. FMT performed progressive strength training twice a week for 21 weeks. The measurements included maximal isometric and concentric leg extension forces, EMG activity of the vastus lateralis and medialis, CSA of the quadriceps femoris, and serum concentrations of testosterone (T), free testosterone (FT), growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and cortisol. Subjectively perceived symptoms of FM were also assessed.
All patients were able to complete the training. In FMT strength training led to increases of 36% (p<0.001) and 33% (p<0.001) in maximal isometric and concentric forces, respectively. The CSA increased by 5% (p<0.001) and the EMG activity in isometric action by 47% (p<0.001) and in concentric action by 57% (p<0.001). Basal serum hormone concentrations remained unaltered during strength training. The subjective perceived symptoms showed a minor decreasing tendency (ns). No statistically significant changes occurred in any of these parameters in FMC.
Progressive strength training increases strength, CSA, and voluntary activation of the trained muscles in elderly women with FM, while the measured basal serum hormone concentrations remain unaltered. Strength training benefits the overall physical fitness of the patients without adverse effects or any exacerbation of symptoms and should be included in the rehabilitation programmes of elderly patients with FM.