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Exercise May Reduce Fatigue in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Posted Jul 09 2014 5:27am 1 Comment

Joint pain is one of the main symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but many people who suffer from this disease experience both physical and mental fatigue.  This tiredness is usually of great intensity and may not improve even after taking rest.

However, a new study suggests that making an effort to stay active on a daily basis may help rheumatoid arthritis patients to reduce their level of fatigue to a great extent. This research was conducted at the Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands to identify whether daily activity level may impact or lead to fatigue in these patients and whether any kind of arthritis pain, cognition or disability can be associated with daily activity levels.

Normally, people with chronic medical conditions having less physical activity can become the victims of fatigue. But prior to this no such association had been reported among people with RA.  

As part of the study, data from more than 167 patients who visited the Dutch Medical facility’s outpatient clinic were analyzed. Their fatigue level was measured using the “Checklist Individual Strength system”. Their physical activity was monitored for about 14 days using an ankle-worn actometer.  The major findings of the study are –

- About 25 % of the participants recorded a low activity level, whereas about 75% recorded a high level.


- A regression analysis done showed that increased activity level leads to reduced fatigue.

- Pain, coping, cognition and disability were not associated with daily activity levels.

The study indicates the prominent benefits and changes that exercise can provide to rheumatoid arthritis patients. Patients must follow a systematic approach to manage pain and fatigue effectively. Even though medications may help in pain management, there are other treatment methods that can be followed by these patients. Reliable healthcare centers offer different approaches for effective arthritis pain management such as physical therapy, exercises, TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), massage and more. The treatment approach for this chronic joint condition may vary from one person to another depending upon the type and severity of the condition.

Comments (1)
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Arthritis is a condition that affects a large majority of the population, and is characterized by severe pain in the joints. Dealing with arthritis pain is somewhat difficult, and it can seriously affect the quality of your life.
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