The Effect of Conditioning Exercise on the Health Status and Pain in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Document Type: Original article

Authors

1 Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, Department of Community Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Community Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Community Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

6 Department of Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Background: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a systemic and inflammatory disease of unknown etiology which is mostly characterized by inflammation of the synovial joints. Studies have proved that most people with RA avoid doing physical activities due to fear that it may worsen the pain or cause pressure on joints, resulting in decreased muscle strength and ultimately leading to disability of patients. We aimed to investigate the effects of conditioning exercises on the health status and pain in patients suffering from RA.Methods: In this randomized controlled clinical trial, we enrolled 66 women with confirmed RA referred to the rheumatology clinic of Hafez hospital, Shiraz, southwest Iran during May-July 2013. Balanced block randomization method was used to randomize the participants into case and control groups (two groups of 33 each).Data were collected using visual analog scale (VAS), Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2 short form (AIMS2-SF), and demographic questionnaire. After obtaining written informed consent, the participants in the case group were asked to participate in conditioning exercise programs including aerobic, isometric, and isotonic exercises and received a training booklet explaining the exercises that they could do at home after the intervention.Results: There was a statistically significant difference between the health status scores of the patients in the case groups before and after the intervention (P=0.001). The pain score also decreased significantly in the case group compared with the control group after the intervention (P=0.003).Conclusion: We concluded that physical training programs, especially conditioning exercises, could improve the health status and reduce pain in patients with RA.Trial Registration Number: IRCT201308187531N3

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