Hydrotherapy for fibromyalgia: 2 reviews

 There’s evidence that hydrotherapy has short-term beneficial effects on pain and quality of life, according to reviewers at Technische Universität München, in Germany.

First, the details.

  • Data from 10 out of 13 studies of 446 people treated for about 240 minutes were included in the meta-analysis.
  • Only 3 studies had a moderate quality score based on their van Tulder score.

And, the results.

  • There was moderate evidence of a significant reduction in pain and improved health-related quality of life at the end of therapy.
  • There was also moderate evidence that these benefits could be maintained for about 14 weeks.

The bottom line?
Yes, the evidence is positive. However, as the authors concluded, “There is a risk to over-estimate the effects of hydrotherapy due to methodological weaknesses of the studies and to small trials included in meta-analysis.

Late last year, a different group of reviewers from the University of Ulster, in Northern Ireland who also conducted a meta-analysis of the data from 10 studies. They concluded, “There is strong evidence for the use of hydrotherapy in the management of fibromyalgia syndrome.

7/19/09 21:18 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.