Is arthritis making your life a misery? Try a workout…or a chat! Being active could help sufferers fight crippling fatigue, study finds
- Exercise and talk therapy could help thousands of arthritis patients
- Those who underwent talk or exercise therapy had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those receiving usual care, the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow said.
- Benefits continued for six months after treatment ended
Exercise and talk therapy may help thousands of rheumatoid arthritis patients combat crippling fatigue, study finds.
People with other inflammatory diseases, such as lupus and axial spondylitis, could also benefit from the treatments, which should be part of routine care, experts say.
Around 800,000 people in the UK suffer from these conditions and four in five of them live with fatigue every day.
It affects their ability to concentrate, go to work, or live independently.
Researchers from the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow have looked at how to reduce fatigue in these patients.
Researchers found that those who received talk therapy or exercise therapy for arthritis had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those who received usual care
They compared three types of care for 368 people with various inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
Participants received physical activity programs over the phone, cognitive behavioral therapy, or received usual care.
Those in the exercise group had five individual 45-minute sessions over 30 weeks, while those who had talk therapy received an average of eight sessions over the same period. The usual care group received a fatigue education booklet.
Researchers found that those who received talk therapy or exercise therapy significantly reduced fatigue levels compared to those who received usual care.
The benefits continued for six months after treatment ended, according to the study published in Lancet Rheumatology.
And those who received these interventions reported improved sleep, mental health and quality of life, compared to those who received usual care.
Wendy Booth, 57, from Pitmedden, Aberdeenshire, had to give up her job as a psychiatric nurse at Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, after suffering from lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome.
She said: “The fatigue really affects what you can do. If I do work in the garden one day, I know that I will pay for it the next day.
A pharmacist shows a box of tocilizumab, which is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Those who underwent talk or exercise therapy had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those receiving usual care, the universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow said.
Miss Booth, who took up physical activity as part of the study, added: ‘The physio called me about once a fortnight and that really encouraged me. I feel like studying has helped me to give purpose. I joined a gym and have a good instructor who understands my abilities and gives me modified exercises so I can continue in the same class with everyone else.
‘Mentally I feel stronger and physically – my motto is ‘I want to keep what I have’, rather than deteriorate.’
Professor Neil Basu, who led most of the research at the University of Aberdeen but is now at the University of Glasgow, said: “Our study provides new evidence that certain non-pharmacological interventions can be achieved with successfully and efficiently by non-specialist members. of the clinical service.
“It was encouraging to see that the interventions led to improvements for the participants, even six months after treatment ended.”
Dr Neha Issar-Brown, Research Director of the Versus Arthritis Association, said: “Fatigue and chronic pain go hand in hand.
“But fatigue tends not to respond to medications for these conditions and often goes unrecognized by clinicians.”
WHAT IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS? THE LONG-TERM AGONISING DISEASE THAT IS INFURABLE
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects around 400,000 people in the UK
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects around 400,000 people in the UK and almost 1.3 million adults in the US.
Women are up to three times more likely to develop the disease than men. People with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis are also more vulnerable.
It is a long-lasting disease in which the immune system causes the body to attack itself, causing painful, swollen and stiff joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis, the second most common form of arthritis that often begins between the ages of 40 and 50, tends to affect the hands, wrists and knees.
Scientists are currently unsure of the exact cause of RA, but smoking, eating lots of red meat, and coffee drinkers are at higher risk.
A cure has yet to be found, but treatments are available and proven to help slow the progression of the disease.
RA is a complex autoimmune disease that is diagnosed and treated by a consultant rheumatologist in secondary care and the patient is followed regularly by a multidisciplinary team led by a consultant in hospital.
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