DOI: 10.12968/ijtr.2022.0094 ISSN:

The effect of scapular stabilisation exercises on posture and pain in patients with fibromyalgia: a randomised controlled trial

Hakan Polat, Kezban Bayramlar, Begümhan Turhan
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Fibromyalgia is a complex syndrome characterised by chronic widespread pain, postural problems, sleep disorders, fatigue and psychiatric disorders. This study investigated the effect of scapular stabilisation exercises on cervical posture and pain in patients with fibromyalgia.


The study included 59 patients between the ages of 18–60 years. Individuals were divided into two groups: the study group (n=29) and control group (n=30). Both groups underwent hot pack application, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and ultrasonography before the exercises. This application continued for a total of 6 weeks in both groups, 5 days a week. After this treatment, the control group was asked to perform conventional shoulder exercises and the scapular stabilisation group was asked to perform scapular stabilisation exercises. The patients were evaluated in terms of pain and cervical posture.


Pain levels significantly decreased in both groups after the treatment (P=0.019). A decrease in tragus-to-wall distance occurred in the conventional exercise group (P=0.005). Scapular stabilisation exercises were found to be more effective than conventional exercises In terms of pain (P<0.001) and cervical posture, (P=0.024).


Both exercise programmes reduced pain levels in patients with fibromyalgia. However, scapular stabilisation exercises were more effective at both reducing pain and improving posture. Physiotherapists can use scapular stabilisation exercises to patients with fibromyalgia to reduce pain, improve posture and reduce the load on the joints.

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