Is arthritis making your life miserable? Try a workout…or a chat! A study suggests that physical activity can help patients combat extreme fatigue
- Exercise and talk therapy can help thousands of patients with arthritis
- The universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow said those who underwent talk or exercise therapy had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those receiving standard care.
- The benefits persisted for six months after treatment was completed
A study has found that exercise and talk therapy can help thousands of patients with rheumatoid arthritis combat disabling fatigue.
Experts say those with other inflammatory diseases, such as lupus and axial spondylitis, can also benefit from treatments that should be part of routine care.
About 800,000 people in the UK suffer from these conditions and four out of five of them live with fatigue every day.
This affects their ability to focus, go to work or live independently.
Researchers from the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow examined how to reduce fatigue among these patients.
Researchers found that those who underwent talk therapy or exercise therapy for osteoarthritis had significantly reduced levels of fatigue versus those receiving usual care.
They compared three types of care for 368 people with different inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
Participants either 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 a 30-week period, while those who underwent speech therapy received an average of eight sessions over the same period. The usual care group was given an educational brochure on fatigue.
The researchers found that those who underwent talk therapy or exercise therapy significantly reduced fatigue levels in those receiving usual care.
The benefits persisted for six months after completing the treatment, according to the study, which was published in the Lancet Rheumatology.
Those given these interventions reported improved sleep, mental health, and quality of life, compared with those who received usual care.
Wendy Booth, 57, from Bitmaiden, Aberdeenshire, had to give up her job as a psychiatric nurse at Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, after suffering from SLE and Sjögren’s syndrome.
“Fatigue really affects what you can do,” she said. If I do some garden work one day, I know I’ll pay for it the next.
A pharmacist presents a box of tocilizumab, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. The universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow said those who underwent talk or exercise therapy had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those receiving standard care.
Miss Booth, who did physical activity in the study, added: “The physicist called me once every two weeks and it really encouraged me. I feel that studying helped give me purpose. I joined a gym and have a good trainer who understands my abilities and gives me modified exercises so that 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 some non-pharmacological interventions can be successfully and effectively delivered by non-specialist members. of clinical service.
“It was encouraging to see that the interventions led to improvements for the participants, even six months after treatment ended.”
‘Fatigue and chronic pain go hand in hand,’ said Dr Neha Essar Brown, director of research at the charity Against Arthritis.
“But fatigue tends to not respond to medication for these conditions, and is often not recognized by clinicians.”
What is rheumatoid arthritis? A painful, long-term illness that cannot be cured
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects around 400,000 people in the UK
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects around 400,000 people in the UK and nearly 1.3 million adults in the US.
Women are three times more likely to have this condition than men. Those with a family history of rheumatoid arthritis are also more likely to develop it.
It is a long-term disease in which the immune system causes the body to attack itself, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness in the 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 rheumatoid arthritis, but smoking, eating a lot of red meat, and coffee drinkers are at greater risk.
No cure has yet been found, but treatments are available and have been shown to help slow the progressive condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex autoimmune condition that is diagnosed and treated by a consultant rheumatologist in secondary care and the patient is followed up on a regular basis by a multidisciplinary team led by a consultant in the hospital.
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