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Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Mar;39(3):415-26.

The effect of progressive resistance training in rheumatoid arthritis. Increased strength without changes in energy balance or body composition.

Author information

1
USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, 02111, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To demonstrate the feasibility of high-intensity progressive resistance training in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients compared with healthy control subjects.

METHODS:

Eight subjects with RA, 8 healthy young subjects, and 8 healthy elderly subjects underwent 12 weeks of high-intensity progressive resistance training, while 6 elderly subjects performed warm-up exercises only. Fitness, body composition, energy expenditure, function, disease activity, pain, and fatigue were measured at baseline and followup.

RESULTS:

All 3 training groups demonstrated similar improvements in strength compared with the change among control subjects (RA group 57% [P < 0.0005], young exercise group 44% [P < 0.01], elderly exercise group 36% [P < 0.05]). Subjects with RA had no change in the number of painful or swollen joints but had significant reductions in self-reported pain score (21% [P < 0.05]) and fatigue score (38% [P = 0.06]), improved 50-foot walking times (mean +/- SD 10.4 +/- 2.2 seconds versus 8.3 +/- 1.5 seconds [P < 0.005]), and improved balance and gait scores (48.9 +/- 3.8 versus 50.4+/- 2.0 [P = 0.07]).

CONCLUSION:

High-intensity strength training is feasible and safe in selected patients with well-controlled RA and leads to significant improvements in strength, pain, and fatigue without exacerbating disease activity or joint pain.

PMID:
8607890
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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