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Curr Diabetes Rev. 2019 May 30. doi: 10.2174/1573399815666190531083504. [Epub ahead of print]

Not a Painless Condition: Rheumatological and Musculoskeletal Symptoms in Type 2 Diabetes, and the Implications for Exercise Participation.

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School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland. Australia.
School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Queensland. Australia.
School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland. Australia.



People with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are more likely to develop a range of rheumatological and musculoskeletal symptoms (RMS), and experience both chronic and widespread pain, compared with the general population. However, these symptoms are not commonly acknowledged by researchers, which hampers our understanding of the impact on this population. Since exercise is a key lifestyle management strategy for T2D and participation levels are typically low, understanding the potential impact of RMS on exercise participation is critical. The aim of this review is to summarise the literature regarding the prevalence and pathophysiology of RMS in T2D, the evidence for the benefits and risks associated with exercise on RMS, and the currently available tools for the reporting of RMS in both research studies and community settings.


A narrative review.


There are numerous exercise trials in T2D, but few have sufficiently reported pain-related adverse events and even fewer have investigated the effects of exercise on RMS and chronic pain.


Recommendations for future research are provided.


Type 2 diabetes; chronic pain; exercise; musculoskeletal symptoms; self-report tools

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