Therapeutic exercise in rheumatoid arthritis


  • Christina H. Stenström RPT Dr Med Sci

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physical Therapy, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, and the Department of Rheumatology, Mälar Hospital, Eskilstuna, Sweden
    • Department of Physical Therapy, Karolinska Institute, S-141 57 Huddinge, Sweden
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Although about 80% of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are functionally independent on any given occasion [1], substantial functional disability is often observed over time in the average patient [2]. One important goal in rehabilitation of individuals with RA is the prevention of functional decline, and therapeutic exercise is frequently used for this purpose. The target population for therapeutic exercise consists mainly of functionally independent persons with RA [3]. For these individuals, aerobic exercise seems superior to nonaerobic methods of exercise [4]. Likewise, dynamic exercise, requiring muscle work during joint motion, appears to be superior to static or isometric exercises [5].