Is arthritis making your life a misery? Try a workout… or a chat!
Is Arthritis Making Your Life a Misery? Try a workout…or a chat! Being active can help patients fight crippling fatigue, study suggests
- Exercise and Talk Therapy Can Help Thousands of Arthritis Patients
- Those who had talk or exercise therapy significantly reduced fatigue levels compared to those who received usual care, the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow said:
- Benefits persisted 6 months after completion of treatment
Exercise and talk therapy could help thousands of rheumatoid arthritis patients fight crippling fatigue, a study suggests.
Sufferers of other inflammatory diseases, such as lupus and axial spondylitis, may also benefit from the treatments, which should be part of routine care, experts say.
About 800,000 people in the UK have these conditions and four in five of them live with fatigue every day.
This has consequences for their ability to concentrate, to work or live independently.
Researchers from the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow investigated how to reduce fatigue in these patients.
Researchers found that those who had talk therapy or exercise therapy for arthritis significantly reduced fatigue levels compared to those who received usual care
They compared three types of care for 368 people with different inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
The participants were either given exercise, cognitive-behavioral therapy programs delivered over the phone, or they received usual care.
Those in the exercise group had five 45-minute one-on-one sessions over 30 weeks, while those who had talk therapy had an average of eight sessions over the same period. The regular care group received an information booklet about fatigue.
Researchers found that those who received talk therapy or exercise therapy significantly reduced fatigue levels compared to those who received usual care.
The benefits persisted for six months after completion of treatment, according to the study published in Lancet Rheumatology.
And those who offered these interventions reported improved sleep, mental health and quality of life, compared with those who received usual care.
Wendy Booth, 57, from Pitmedden, Aberdeenshire, had to give up her job as a psychiatric nurse at the Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, after suffering from lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome.
She said: ‘The fatigue really affects what you can do. If I work in the garden one day, I know I’ll pay for it the next.’
A pharmacist shows a box of tocilizumab, which is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Those who had talk or exercise therapy significantly reduced fatigue levels compared to those who received usual care, the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow said:
Ms Booth, who was physically active in the study, added: ‘The physio called me about once every two weeks and it really encouraged me. I feel that the study has given me a purpose. I went to a gym and I have a good instructor who understands my abilities and gives me adapted exercises so that I can stay in the same class with everyone else.
“Mentally I feel stronger and physically – my motto is ‘I want to keep what I have’, instead of going backwards.”
Professor Neil Basu, who led the bulk of the research at the University of Aberdeen but now works at the University of Glasgow, said: ‘Our study provides new evidence that some non-pharmacological interventions can be successfully and effectively performed by non-pharmacological -specialized members. of the clinical service.
“It is encouraging to see that the interventions led to improvements for the participants, even six months after the end of treatment.”
dr. Neha Issar-Brown, director of research at the charity Versus Arthritis, said: “Fatigue and chronic pain go hand in hand.
“But fatigue usually doesn’t respond to medications for these conditions and is often unrecognized by clinicians.”