Investigators recently set out to measure the therapeutic effects of a manual therapy protocol on improving pain, pressure pain thresholds, quality of sleep, function and depressive symptoms in both men and women and men with fibromyalgia syndrome.

Eighty-nine patients were randomly assigned to experimental or control group, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. The experimental group (24 female, 21 male) received 5 sessions of manual therapy and the control group (24 female, 21 male) did not receive any intervention.

Pressure pain thresholds (PPT), pain, impact of FMS symptoms, quality of sleep and depressive symptoms were assessed in both groups at baseline and after 48-hours of the last intervention in the experimental group, according to the abstract.

Among the results:

• Manual therapy protocol was effective for improving pain intensity, widespread pressure pain sensitivity, impact of FMS symptoms, sleep quality and depressive symptoms.

• Gender differences were observed in response to treatment: women and men get similar improvements in quality of sleep and tender point count, whereas women showed a greater reduction in pain and impact of FMS symptoms than men, but men reported higher decreases in depressive symptoms and pressure hypersensitivity than women.

The research was published in the Clinical Journal of Pain and was conducted by investigators with the Department of Nursing, Physical Therapy and Medicine, Universidad de Almeria, Spain †Department of Physical Therapy, Universidad de Granada, Spain ‡Servicio Andaluz de Salud. Family Medicine Specialist. Granada. Spain Department of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain, and Esthesiology Laboratory of Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Spain.

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