Exercise programs recommended as standard for rheumatoid arthritis

October 7, 2009,

Exercise programs designed to improve strength and stamina are safe and effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. The researchers reviewed dynamic exercise program trials in RA patients and found moderate benefits associated with this type of treatment.

"Based on the evidence in this study, we would recommend training combined with muscle strength training as routine practice for RA ," said lead researcher Emalie Hurkmans of the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, Netherlands. "But we need more research to establish the recommended length and type of exercise programs, whether patients need to be supervised and if these programs are cost effective."

RA affects up to 1 in 100 people in Western countries, causing chronic pain and of the . There is currently no cure for the disease, so dynamic exercise programs are often recommended as a complement to drug therapy to try to improve physical function through physical exercise.

The researchers combined data from eight trials involving a total of 575 patients. The results reaffirm the previous study's findings that dynamic exercise programs are safe and have positive effects on aerobic capacity and muscle strength in RA patients, and when performed long term also have a positive effect on functional ability. However, the researchers say the benefits are only seen immediately after the intervention. They also suggest water-based programs may help to improve functional ability of patients.

"One important omission from this study is evidence for long term follow-up effects, so without further studies we can't rule out that the obtained effects vanish if exercise programs are not continued over long periods. There are also other types of that weren't included in our review, such as flexibility and stability training, and it would be interesting to find out whether these also have positive effects," said Hurkmans.

Source: Wiley (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.