Objective To determine the effects of 12 weeks of resistance exercise training (RET) on disease severity and autonomic modulation at rest and after acute leg resistance exercise in women with fibromyalgia (FM) and healthy controls (HCs). Design Before-after trial. Setting Testing and training occurred in a university setting. Participants Women with FM (n=9; mean age ± SD, 42±5y) and HCs (n=15; mean age, 45±5y). Intervention Both groups underwent testing before and after 12 weeks of whole-body RET consisting of 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions on 5 different exercises. Main Outcome Measures Disease severity was assessed using the number of active tender points, myalgic score, and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). Heart rate and autonomic modulation using power spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) were measured at rest and 20 minutes after 5 sets of leg-press exercise. Results There was no group-by-time interaction for any variable. Women with FM and HCs had similar increases in maximal strength (P<.05) after RET. Number of active tender points, myalgic score, and FIQ score were decreased (P<.05) after RET in women with FM. Heart rate and natural log (Ln) high frequency (LnHF) were recovered, whereas Ln low frequency (LnLF) and LnLF/LnHF ratio were increased (P<.05) 20 minutes after acute leg resistance exercise. There were no significant effects of RET on HRV at rest or postexercise. Conclusions These findings indicate that cardiovagal modulation of heart rate recovers early after leg resistance exercise in women with FM and HCs. It is concluded that RET reduces the severity of FM, but it has no impact on autonomic modulation of heart rate.
- Vagus nerve