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June 26, 2010

Aerobic exercise is safe & effective with RA

According to the results of a new study, it indicates that aerobic exercise is safe & effective for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Aerobic ExerciseRA is a chronic & often painful disease affecting the joints, causing them to become inflamed. An inflamed joint looks swollen & red & appears warm to touch. This inflammation can lead to permanent damage in the joints if the disease is not treated. Around 40,000 people in Ireland 've the condition.

French researchers analysed 14 studies involving 510 patients with RA & 530 without the condition. Participants had an average age of 44-68. They had been affected by RA for between 1-16 yrs.

The researchers found that cardio-respiratory aerobic exercise was safe for patients with stable RA. In fact, those who exercised regularly had improved function, less joint pain & a greater quality of life.

"Our results show that patients with stable RA would benefit from regular aerobic exercise. Cardio-respiratory conditioning appears safe & its effects, while small, help to reduce joint pain & improve function," explained lead researcher, Dr Athan Baillet of the University of Grenoble Medical School.

He said that while past studies 've indicated that RA patients are quite physically inactive, ‘our study shows aerobic exercise to be a safe & beneficial intervention for this group'.

"Further trials are needed to clearly determine the clinical impact of cardio-respiratory conditioning in the management of RA," Dr Baillet added.

Details of these findings are published in the journal, Arthritis Care & Research.

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