Why Train Can Be So Draining for Folks With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Their nerves appeared to be particularly sensitive to the buildup of certain substances in the working muscles, the researchers concluded, causing the nerves to send urgent messages to nearby blood vessels, telling them to contract. The result was persistent high blood pressure during and after exercise.

These responses were most pronounced in rheumatoid arthritis patients with the highest levels of inflammatory activity in their blood before exercise, the researchers found.

Overall, the results suggest that physical activity can be especially difficult for people with rheumatoid arthritis because their nervous systems can overreact to relatively minor changes in muscles.

However, the results don’t suggest that people with autoimmune diseases should avoid exercise, says Dr. Roschel. “Physical activity is highly recommended for people with RA,” he said. “But these people may need additional attention and support to participate in physical activity programs.”

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If you’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, speak to your doctor or an exercise physiologist about how best to exercise, he says. And when starting a new routine, start slowly and possibly keep a record of how you feel during your exercise.

Of course, this study focused on older women with rheumatoid arthritis and a single session of very light resistance training. It is not known whether the results apply equally to younger women or men with this condition, or whether other types of exercise, such as: B. walking can produce a similar response. It is also not known how people with different autoimmune or related diseases could be affected.

Dr. However, Roschel and his colleagues are exploring all of these questions. “We have also done some exercise studies on patients who have recovered from Covid-19 in our laboratory, and they also show abnormal cardiorespiratory responses to exercise,” he says. They hope to publish more studies soon.

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