Aug 31

Physical functioning limitations with Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Women with Fibro may have more physical functional limitations than the average 80-year old woman, according to a survey carried out by the American National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA). [1]

For an article recently e-published ahead of print in the journal Womens Health Issues, researchers including NFA founder and president, Lynne Matallana, carried out a secondary analysis using data from an Internet-based survey posted on the National Fibromyalgia Association website. [1]

The data used included 1,735 women aged 31-78 years who reported being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (Fibro). [1]

More than 25% of the women reported having difficulty taking care of personal needs and bathing. [1]

More than 60% reported difficulty doing light household tasks, going up/down 1 flight of stairs, walking half a mile, and lifting or carrying 10 lbs. [1]

More than 90% of the women reported having difficulty doing heavy household tasks, lifting or carrying 25 lbs, and doing strenuous activities. [1]

The researchers also found that women with lower functional ability reported higher levels of fatigue, pain, spasticity, depression, restless legs, balance problems, dizziness, fear of falling, and bladder problems. [1]

They concluded that:

"The average woman in this sample reported having less functional ability related to activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living than the average community-dwelling woman in her 80s." [1]

They also noted that several symptoms and secondary conditions were found to be associated with limited functioning. Targeting these symptoms/conditions specifically may be important in terms of future interventions. [1]


  1. Jones J, Rutledge DN, Jones KD, Matallana L, Rooks DS. Self-Assessed Physical Function Levels Of Women With Fibromyalgia A National Survey. Womens Health Issues. 2008 Aug 22. [Epub ahead of print]