Being Active ‘Important’ For Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis
The importance of exercise and being physically active for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been highlighted.
Writing for the Huffington Post, Dr Wendy Holden, a consultant rheumatologist at North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and medical advisor for Arthritis Action, explained that people who suffer from the condition can end up with more severe disabilities if they don’t remain physically active.
She cited research by Andrew Lemmey from the University of Bangor, which found that a lack of physical activity in people with RA can cause greater damage than previously thought.
Because many people with RA are very inactive and suffer from significant muscle loss, they can become severely disabled even when the arthritis is controlled. She also pointed to another study which showed that the time people spend waiting for outpatient appointments in hospital is the perfect opportunity to introduce short periods of exercise.
Carrying out simple exercises and following an exercise plan can help people with RA stay active and improve their quality of life.
Making modifications at home, such as fitting walk in power baths, could also help people continue to carry out everyday activities without assistance for longer.
According to the State of musculoskeletal health 2017 report by Arthritis Research UK, over 400,000 people in the UK have RA and of those, one third will have stopped walking within two years of the onset of the condition.
In addition, the organisation estimates that the condition costs the UK economy between £3.8 and £4.8 billion per year.