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Aerobic exercise and arthritis

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Query: I find Dr Himantha Athukorale’s articles the most informative possibly because there are family members suffering from joint diseases. Could you please explain the condition of ‘synovitis’.
 Thanks and regards
 Mrs. S. Dias Amaratunga  
 Nugegoda  

Answer: Thank you very much. I will briefly explain what synovitis is. The word synovium is used to describe a covering that is present around most of our joints. This is a thin rubbery cover that is stretchable. Inside the synovium lie two bony ends which rub against each other to form the structure we call a joint. The term “ itis” is a Latin word to describe inflammation. Inflammation is an extra blood supply to a certain part of the body causing swelling and other problems. So synovitis if simply explained is, extra blood supply to the synovium causing it to malfunction/ cause symptoms. Synovitis is the hallmark of of a condition called inflammatory arthritis. I hope I answered your query.   


 

 

 

Answer: Thank you very much for the query on aerobic exercise and rheumatoid arthritis. There’s abundant research evidence to suggest that exercise can improve joint function and range of motion. Aerobics can also change how the brain perceives pain.Therefore it reduces the symptoms markedly.   
There are a variety of lifestyle modifications that are taught for people with all forms of arthritis. I used to help a class, meant for patients, named “Tools for life” in the United Kingdom. All were taught how to perform simple tasks like reaching out for higher objects, climbing stairs, using a walking stick, opening a lid etc.. I strongly feel that this is a must for Sri Lankan patients as well.   


Blood cholesterol levels and rheumatoid disease correlate strongly. Unfortunately the major cause of debility and even demise in rheumatoid arthritis worldwide is cholesterol related blood vessel disease. This leads to things like strokes and heart attacks. So a blood cholesterol test for all patients with arthritis is mandatory. I hope these answers were useful.   


Query: I would like to know from Dr. Himantha Atukorale about the health benefits of aerobic exercise and the lifestyle modification for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. I would also like to know how high cholesterol can affect rheumatoid arthritis. Thank you
Godfrey Perera
Colombo 05

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