Preliminary evidence of a blunted anti-inflammatory response to exhaustive exercise in fibromyalgia

Britta Torgrimson-Ojerio, Rebecca L. Ross, Nathan F. Dieckmann, Stephanie Avery, Robert (Rob) Bennett, Kim Jones, Anthony J. Guarino, Lisa J. Wood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Scopus citations


    Exercise intolerance, as evidenced by a worsening of pain, fatigue, and stiffness after novel exertion, is a key feature of fibromyalgia (FM). In this pilot study, we investigate whether; insufficient muscle repair processes and impaired anti-inflammatory mechanisms result in an exaggerated pro-inflammatory cytokine response to exhaustive exercise, and consequently a worsening of muscle pain, stiffness and fatigue in the days post-exercise. We measured changes in muscle pain and tenderness, fatigue, stiffness, and serum levels of neuroendocrine and inflammatory cytokine markers in 20 women with FM and 16 healthy controls (HCs) before and after exhaustive treadmill exercise. Compared to HCs, FM participants failed to mount the expected anti-inflammatory response to exercise and experienced a worsening of symptoms post-exercise. However, changes in post-exertional symptoms were not mediated by post-exertional changes in pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. Implications of these findings are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)160-167
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
    Issue number1-2
    StatePublished - Dec 15 2014


    • Cortisol
    • Cytokine
    • Exercise
    • Fatigue
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Stiffness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology and Allergy
    • Immunology
    • Neurology
    • Clinical Neurology


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