Hydrotherapy plus conventional drugs beneficial in RA

June 20, 2017

(HealthDay)—For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), hydrotherapy in addition to conventional drugs is associated with improved antioxidant status, according to a study published online June 14 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Somaiya Mateen, from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh, India, and colleagues enrolled 40 patients with RA and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls to examine the impact of hydrotherapy on oxidant-antioxidant status in RA. The authors subdivided the patients with RA into two groups to receive treatment with either conventional RA medications (20 patients) or hydrotherapy together with conventional drugs (20 patients) for 12 weeks.

The researchers found that patients with RA treated with hydrotherapy had a significant decrease in the Disease Activity Score of 28 joints, which was not seen after conventional treatment. Patients with RA showed significant change in the oxidative stress biomarkers, including , ferric reducing antioxidant potential, malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl, and tail length; they also had significant decreases in the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) . No significant change in these parameters was seen with conventional drug treatment. Cotreatment of drugs with hydrotherapy resulted in reductions in protein, lipid, and DNA oxidation by increasing the activities of SOD and GPx.

"In addition to , RA should be advised to have hydrotherapy (moderate intensity exercise) in their treatment regimen," the authors write.

Explore further: Certain criteria may be better than others in RA assessment

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