Efficacy of cardiorespiratory aerobic exercise in rheumatoid arthritis: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, impairment in ROM, muscle strength, and VO2max results in serious loss of function, work disability, dependency, impaired social or family function, and reduced quality of life. Pharmacologic interventions have largely improved RA management over the past decade, but physical therapy remains an important part of treatment.
Physical activity is still dramatically limited in RA, worldwide. Previously, the exercise therapy in RA aimed only at maintaining joint mobility and muscle strength. Intensive and weight-bearing exercises were thought to provoke joint damage by enhancing disease activity.
This review (14 articles, 1040 patients for meta-analysis) aimed to evaluate the efficacy of aerobic exercises in RA on quality of life, function (HAQ), clinical (DAS 28 and VAS pain) and radiologic outcomes (X-ray). The intervention (cardiorespiratory aerobic exercises) was defined as performed at 50 –90% of the VO2max.
Results: Most functional improvement took place in younger patients with moderate RA. Supervised and intensive sessions had better results in terms of QoL than home exercises programs. Thus, cardiorespiratory aerobic conditioning in stable RA is safe and improves some of the most important outcome measures. Moreover, it appears that aerobic exercise decreases radiologic damage and pain significantly > from Baillet et al., Arthritis Care Res 62 (2010) 984-992. All rights reserved to American College of Rheumatology.
Visit the Pubmed summary for more information or your article access.