A portable method to detect the difficulty for maintaining the balance in women with fibromyalgia has been designed for the first time

 
D'esquerra a dreta: Israel Villarrasa, Pilar Serra, Marta Aguilar, Gemma Espí, Núria Sempere i Sara Cortés.
D'esquerra a dreta: Israel Villarrasa, Pilar Serra, Marta Aguilar, Gemma Espí, Núria Sempere i Sara Cortés.

A researcher team of the Departments of Physiotherapy and Physical and Sports Education of the Universitat de València with Biomechanical Institute of Valencia has demonstrated that women with fibromyalgia (FM) have altered the control of the balance. The study, published in the journal 'PLoS ONE’, is held for the first time with a portable method of measurement, easy to apply.

The work analyses the capacity of women with FM to maintain the balance. It is a fundamental skill to realise the main daily activities and it can condition other such as activity or physical exercise. Among conclusions, the somatosensory system of women with fibromyalgia is affected by the loss of postural control. This alteration has not relation with muscle strength that have women affected by the syndrome.

Research also concluded that anxiety levels presented in women with fibromyalgia “have not relation with the capacity to maintain the balance, consequently is not necessary the rehabilitation of balance as physical capacity to improve quality of life of this people”, claims Pilar Serra, researcher of the Faculty of Physiotherapy of the Universitat de València.

It is the first study that analyses the balance in women with FM using non-linear methods of analysis. In other words, those capable of measure not only the quantity of the centre of gravity movement, but also the quality of the same and its predictability Furthermore, it is done though the use of the dynamometric platform Wii-Balance Board, accessory of the console Nintendo, usually used for recreational practice in the videogames context. That allows its use outside the laboratory context.

Usually, the therapeutic intervention of people with fibromyalgia aims to reduce pain, the fundamental symptom of this syndrome. “It is unknown the reason, and for its therapeutic analysis, we need to know what physical capacities can be affected, and can be related to the experimented pain”, explains Pilar Serra.

Also the deputy of the dean of the Faculty of Physiotherapy of the Universitat de València stresses that to be capable to recognise an alteration of the balance in this people, in a simple manner through a portable system of measure, provides to this collective an improvement of the therapeutic intervention programmes.

The fibromyalgia syndrome is a rheumatology disorder with clinical features such as generalised pain, fatigue and mood disorders as depression and anxiety. The prevalence of the fibromyalgia in Spain is around 2’4%. In addition, it has more impact on women that on men (relation 20:1) and affects predominantly to women from 40 to 50 years. The care of this kind of patients implies an important consumption of health resource in primary care.

 

Methodology

In the developed study by the Departments of Physiotherapy and Physical and Sports Education of the Universitat de València with the Biomechanical Institute of Universitat Politècnica de València, have participated 129 women from 40 to 70. 80 of these had fibromyalgia. The variable postural control were calculated under five different conditions and they used the platform of strength to register the realised pressure. The research has been funded by the Valencian Department of Education, Science and Sport of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian Government), within the programme for realising projects of R&D for emerging groups (GVA2016/140).

 

Article:

Sempere-Rubio N, López-Pascual J, Aguilar-Rodríguez M, Cortés-Amador S, Espí-López G, Villarrasa-Sapiña I, et al. (2018) «Characterization of postural control impairment in women with fibromyalgia». PLoS ONE 13(5): e0196575. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal 

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