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MSK Pain – Improves fitness

Evidence summary (Updated 2022)

A Cochrane review identified a significant improvement in cardiovascular fitness in those with fibromyalgia undertaking aerobic physical activity interventions [1]. Their meta-analysis of 3 RCTs demonstrated a large improvement in the intervention group, with the Standardised Mean Difference 0.79 (0.37-1.21).

Quality of evidence

Moderate quality

Strength of recommendation



Regular physical activity can be expected to improve cardiovascular fitness in those people with chronic musculoskeletal pain who were previously inactive.


1         Busch AJ, Barber KAR, Overend TJ, et al.Exercise for treating fibromyalgia syndrome (Review). Cochrane Database Syst RevPublished Online First: 2007. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003786.pub2.Copyright