Authors: Hernández-Hernández M et al Reumatología Clinica (Jun 2016)
OBJECTIVES Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting diarthrodial joints, in which patients tend to perform less physical activity (PA) than recommended. This review focuses on the existing evidence about the relationship of PA and RA, specifically how the former influences joint inflammation, disability, quality of life and pain in RA patients, and also how disease activity potentially impacts PA in these patients.
METHODS A literature search of EMBASE and MEDLINE databases from January 2000 to January 2015.
RESULTS The evidence indicating that PA in RA patients is safe and the benefits from regularly performing, both aerobic and resistance exercises, in these patients include improvement in: quality of life, functionality, pain and number of swollen joints. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that changes in disease activity in RA patients inversely correlate with variations in PA, as assessed by accelerometry.
CONCLUSIONS The regular monitoring of PA in RA patients might facilitate a more objective evaluation of variations in disease activity, helping physicians to make general and therapeutic recommendations that will improve both the health status and the joint functionality of these patients.