Realistic Activity Goals Seem To Ease Arthritis Pain, Study Finds

RA Guy Community News

Belief in ability to do exercise, and following through, can improve life for rheumatoid arthritis patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) — Rheumatoid arthritis patients who believe in their ability to achieve physical activity goals — called self-efficacy — are more likely to reach those objectives, researchers have found.

The investigators also found that patients who achieve their physical activity goals have lower levels of arthritis pain and a higher quality of life.

Researchers in the Netherlands conducted an initial assessment of the physical activity levels, motivation, self-efficacy for physical activity, levels of arthritis pain and quality of life of 106 rheumatoid arthritis patients.

When the assessment was repeated six months later, 75 percent of the patients rated their physical activity goal achievement at 50 percent or more. Those with higher levels of self-efficacy for physical activity were more likely to achieve their physical activity goals, the study authors noted.

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Over the past couple of months, I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion how much I think exercise (swimming and aquatic exercise) have helped me to not only improve my overall physical strength and flexibility, but have also helped me to lower my pain levels. Figuring out how to exercise regularly when living with a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis definitely isn’t easy, but it is possible. (And part of making it possible is knowing and accepting when exercise just isn’t possible, no matter how much I wish it to be.)

I appreciate how this article focuses on realistic activity goals. For me, figuring out what is indeed realistic has been a key part of my success when it comes to being able to exercise.