Dr. Lundberg also reported on the results of several other studies that tracked the results of exercise in patients with myositis. The studies that she presented found, among other factors, a significant improvement in strength, maximum oxygen uptake, and activities of daily living. Another conclusion from these studies is that the use of creatine helped improve muscle performance.6,7
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More studies are needed to track the benefits of exercise in patients with sporadic inclusion body myositis and juvenile dermatomyositis, she noted.
Dr. Lundberg said that as soon as patients on immunosuppressive therapy at her clinic feel they can do exercise, physicians will instruct them to follow a regimen with a physical therapist’s supervision.
“We can say that exercise is safe, at least in polymyositis and dermatomyositis, and that it seems to be effective to improve strength and fitness. I would suggest it as a complement to physical therapy. It may even be that exercise is beneficial to inflammation,” she said. “It may be provocative, but I’d like to suggest that exercise is medicine.”
Vanessa Caceres is a freelance medical writer in Bradenton, Florida.
- Bohan A, Peter JB. Polymyositis and dermatomyositis (first of two parts). N Engl J Med. 1975;292:344-347.
- Bohan A, Peter JB. Polymyositis and dermatomyositis (second of two parts). N Engl J Med. 1975;292:403-407.
- Sokka T, Hetland ML, Mäkinen H, et al. Remission and rheumatoid arthritis: Data on patients receiving usual care in twenty-four countries. Arthritis Rheum. 2008; 58:2642-2651.
- Wiesinger GF, Quittan M, Nuhr M, et al. Aerobic capacity in adult dermatomyositis/polymyositis patients and healthy controls. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000;81:1-5.
- Alexanderson H, Stenström CH, Lundberg I. Safety of a home exercise programme in patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis: A pilot study. Rheumatology (Oxford). 1999;38:608-611.
- Wiesinger GF, Quittan M, Graninger M,et al. Benefit of 6 months long-term physical training in polymyositis/dermatomyositis patients. Br J Rheumatol. 1998;37:1338-1342.
- Chung YL, Alexanderson H, Pipitone N, et al. Creatine supplements in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies who are clinically weak after conventional pharmacologic treatment: Six-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2007;57:694-702.