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Scand J Rheumatol. 1999;28(1):47-53.

Muscle relaxation training and quality of life in rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized controlled clinical trial.

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  • 1Department of Physiotherapy, Rosenhäll, Uddevalla, Sweden.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of supervised muscle relaxation training in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Sixty-eight participants were allocated at random either to a muscle relaxation training group or to a control group. Every participant was evaluated for health-related quality of life, muscle function, pain, and disease activity. The training group exercised 30 minutes, twice a week for 10 weeks, while no intervention was made in the control group. The results indicated improvements in the training group regarding self-care according to the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2, and in recreation and pastimes according to the Sickness Impact Profile-RA (p < 0.05) directly after the intervention. Mobility and arm function (p < 0.01) according to the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2, and muscle function of the lower limbs (p < 0.05) were improved after six months. No improvements remained after twelve months. It thus seems that 10 weeks' relaxation training might have some short-term influence in individuals with RA.

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