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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2009 Nov;21(6):599-603. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e3283319d53.

Exercise as an anti-inflammatory intervention to combat inflammatory diseases of muscle.

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  • 1Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



The purpose of this review was to give an update on the effects of physical exercise in patients with chronic inflammatory disorders with a focus on the potential anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in inflammatory myopathies.


Until recently patients with myositis were refrained from doing physical exercise due to the fear of exacerbation of muscle inflammation. Several studies now support the beneficial clinical effects of physical exercise on physical performance, cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength in these patients. In this context, the observations from healthy individuals and from patients with other chronic inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and chronic obstructive lung disease that physical exercise or regular physical activity may lower levels of systemic inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin (IL) 6 is interesting. Exercise may also have a downregulating effect on inflammatory molecules in muscle tissue, which is of particular relevance for patients with myositis. Thus, physical activity or exercise can have a beneficial effect on human health partly due to its anti-inflammatory effect.


In contrast to the previous recommendations to avoid physical exercise, accumulating data now suggest that physical exercise in patients with myositis is safe, benefits clinical outcome and may even reduce inflammation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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