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Scand J Rehabil Med. 1987;19(1):31-5.

The effect of water exercise therapy given to patients with rheumatoid arthritis.


It is well known that patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis have a reduced muscular function. The positive effect of physical training on rheumatic patients has been shown. In this study the effect of exercise therapy performed in a heated swimming pool has been evaluated for eight patients in a non-acute stage of rheumatoid arthritis. The median pre-treatment maximal isometric and isokinetic quadriceps strength was 88 Nm (44-146) and 99 Nm (62-149) respectively, which was 61% and 70% of that found in a control group of healthy persons. After 2 months exercise therapy the median maximal isometric and isokinetic quadriceps strength increased by 38% and 16% compared to the pre-treatment value (p less than 0.02 and p less than 0.05). All patients, except one who developed cardiac arrhythmia during the second test, accomplished a submaximal bicycle test (a.m. Astrand). An increase in the aerobic capacity was observed in all patients after the training period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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