In a nutshell
This study reviewed the effectiveness of resistance exercise in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The data showed that resistance exercise can significantly improve disease activity in these patients.
RA is a progressive, autoimmune, inflammatory disease that affects multiple joints in the body. RA activity is measured through symptoms in 28 joints by the DAS-28 scale. High DAS-28 and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) in the blood indicate the presence of inflammation. Walking speed may be affected depending on the severity of RA.
Exercise is important in the management of RA. Aerobic exercise is associated with improvements in cardiovascular fitness, quality of life (QoL), and disability and pain reduction in patients with RA. However, the relevance of resistance exercise therapy on cardiovascular effects remains unclear in these patients.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed 17 articles involving resistance exercise in the treatment of RA. 512 patients were included in the resistance exercise group while 498 patients were in the control group. The control group had other types of non-aerobic exercise.
Resistance exercise significantly decreased DAS-28 scores compared to the control group. A significant reduction of ESR was also seen in the resistance exercise group compared to those in the control group.
A significant reduction in the time patients needed to walk 50 feet was seen in the resistance exercise group compared to those in the control group.
The bottom line
This study found that resistance exercise improved the disease activity and inflammation levels in patients with RA.
The fine print
Most of the studies analyzed were small. Larger studies are needed to confirm the findings. Some background information on patients included in the study was unavailable.
Published By :
Apr 02, 2021
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