Strengthening exercises to improve hand strength and functionality in rheumatoid arthritis with hand deformities: a randomized, controlled trial
Rheumatology International, 05/15/2012
Cima SR et al. – The strengthening exercises for individuals with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) hand deformity are beneficial to improve handgrip and pinch strengths as well as functionality.Methods
- Twenty women with RA hand deformities participated in the study.
- They were randomly divided into two groups as follows: Group 1 (n = 13) had women participating in the exercise programme aimed at improving handgrip (HS) and pinch strengths (PS) as well as the motor coordination of the hand; Group 2 (n = 7) had women with RA who received no treatment for their hands (control).
- The treatment programme for hands consisted of 20 sessions, twice a week and at-home exercises.
- Both groups were submitted to Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and evaluation of HS and PS by means of dynamometry.
- Re-evaluations were performed after 10 and 20 sessions in Group 1 and after 2 months in Group 2.
- After 20 sessions of physiotherapy, Group 1 had a significant gain in HS and PS (p < 0.05) in addition to the improvement of functionality as assessed by HAQ (p = 0.016).
- For Group 2, no difference was found between the variables analysed (p > 0.05).