Objective. The aim of this study was to examine physical performance in women with fibromyalgia (FM) using methods that are easy to use in clinical settings and to compare our findings with published norms or a healthy comparison group.
Methods. Measures of shoulder pain and range-of-motion, isometric shoulder endurance, neck rotation, leg strength, hand grip strength, back flexibility, 6-minute walk distance, and symptom duration were completed on 97 subjects with FM. The comparison group was 30 age-matched healthy women.
Results. The FM group had significantly lower physical functioning scores on all variables when compared to the healthy group or published norms. When pain at rest was controlled, pain on motion was the most significant predictor of variance in shoulder range of motion, whereas range of motion was the most significant predictor of right shoulder endurance and grip strength of both hands.
Conclusions. Women with FM are markedly below average in physical performance abilities when measured by clinical tests.