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Beneficial Effects of Physical Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: Focus on Active Biomolecules

Author(s): Roberto Restuccia, Giovanni Ficarra, Fulvio Perani, Gianluca Bagnato, Joseph N Grima, Carmen Mannucci, Alessandra Bitto, Fabio Trimarchi, Debora Di Mauro

Physical Activity (PA) has a fundamental role in subjects with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), in terms of motility, joint function, muscle wasting, BMI (Body Mass Index), Cardiovascular Fitness (CRF), mental health, but also changes in bioactive molecules that might influence the disease activity and patient’s wellbeing. Literature was searched for clinical trials, randomized-controlled trials, and pilot studies published in the last 15 years. Studies using as adjunctive therapy aerobic exercise, High- Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and moderate training were included. The available papers shown that exercise programs improve joint’s mobility and flexibility and the overall health status, without differences regarding age, gender or disease activity. All these findings are supported by the modulatory role of exercise-induced cytokines as interleukin-6 (IL- 6) and irisin, together with a reduction of inflammatory markers.

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