Is arthritis making your life miserable? Try a workout… or chat!

Is arthritis making your life miserable? Try a workout… or chat! Study finds being active can help those suffering from deadly fatigue

  • Exercise and talking therapy could help thousands of arthritis patients
  • According to the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow, those who engaged in conversation or exercise therapy had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those who received conventional care.
  • The effect persists for six months after completion of treatment.

Research suggests that exercise and talking therapy could help thousands of rheumatoid arthritis patients fight crippling fatigue.

The treatment, which should be part of routine medical care, can also be beneficial for patients suffering from other inflammatory conditions such as lupus and axial spondylitis, experts say.

Around 800,000 people in the UK have these conditions and four out of five of them live with fatigue every day.

This affects their ability to concentrate, go to work or live independently.

Researchers from the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow studied how to reduce fatigue in these patients.

The researchers found that those who received talk therapy or exercise therapy for arthritis had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those who received conventional care.

They compared three types of care for 368 people with various inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Participants were either provided with telephone physical activity programs, cognitive behavioral therapy, or received conventional care.

Those who did exercise had five 45-minute one-to-one sessions over 30 weeks, while those who did talk therapy averaged eight sessions over the same period. The regular care team received an educational booklet on fatigue.

The researchers found that those who received talk therapy or exercise therapy had significantly lower levels of fatigue compared to those who received conventional care.

According to a study published in the Lancet Rheumatology, the positive effect persisted for six months after treatment was completed.

And those who were offered these interventions reported improved sleep, mental health, and quality of life compared to those who received conventional care.

Wendy Booth, 57, from Pitmedden, Aberdeenshire, had to quit her job as a psychiatric nurse at the Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen due to lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome.

She said: “Fatigue really affects what you can do. If I work in the garden one day, I know I’ll pay for it the next day.”

A pharmacist demonstrates a box of tocilizumab, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.  According to the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow, those who engaged in conversation or exercise therapy had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those who received conventional care.

A pharmacist demonstrates a box of tocilizumab, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. According to the Universities of Aberdeen and Glasgow, those who engaged in conversation or exercise therapy had significantly reduced levels of fatigue compared to those who received conventional care.

Ms. Booth, who was involved in physical activity during the study, added: “The physical therapist called me about once every two weeks, and I was very encouraged. I feel that research has helped me find purpose. I went to the gym and I have a good instructor who understands my abilities and gives me modified exercises so that I can be in the same class as everyone else.

“Mentally, I feel stronger, and physically my motto is: “I want to keep what I have,” and not degrade.”

Professor Neil Basu, who led much of the research at the University of Aberdeen and is now at the University of Glasgow, said: “Our study provides new evidence that some non-pharmacological interventions can be successfully and effectively performed by non-specialists. clinical service.

“It is reassuring that the interventions resulted in improvements in participants even six months after the end of treatment.”

Dr. Neha Issar-Brown, director of research at charity Versus Arthritis, said: “Fatigue and chronic pain go hand in hand.

“But fatigue generally does not respond to medications for these conditions and often goes unnoticed by clinicians.”