Presentation Topic

I would like to research exercise and how it helps patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). My mom has had RA for most of my life. She used to run marathons and teach fitness classes. Even when she was first diagnosed she swore by exercise to make her feel better. Now, she does mostly hot yoga and orange theory fitness classes due to the limitations of her arthritis. If she skips a day at the gym she says she can feel it in her joints. I think my presentation could go in a number of directions.

I hope to find out what is the correlation between exercise and RA and in general, what studies that have been done to figure out the science behind this. So far I have found many websites that cite exercise as a way to reduce RA symptoms. But I want to know more about the limitations and how much exercise is too much for RA sufferers. I am also curious to find out of there is correlation between high amounts of exercise in youth/young adulthood that lead to RA. I do not think this is going to turn up many results, as RA does not have any proven causes aside from genetics, but I am interested to find out if there is some correlation.

Others should be interested in my topic because exercise has an effect on many different types of diseases, not just RA. Though RA currently effects about 1.3 billion Americans, this presentation may spark your interest to research more into how other diseases correlate with exercise.

So far I have found many studies on therapeutic exercises for RA sufferers. These are mostly focused on pain felt by those doing moderate aerobic exercises to those not. I have also found articles that look at intense verses light exercise on subjects with RA. Most of the articles state that exercise is all around beneficial and does not speed the disease.

One thought on “Presentation Topic

  1. Based on our other classes (i.e. Mechanobiology and Orthopedic Biomechanics from last year), RA seems to be a common topic, but one that does not have any concrete answers/treatments. I’m interested to see how exercise affects the disease as a whole (Does it prevent its progression? Could it make it worse?), as well as whether some exercises are better than others. Similarly to how you said your mom now does mostly hot yoga and orange theory fitness classes instead of running, I would be curious to see what types of exercises are best to relieve the symptoms – would aerobic exercises that are longer duration but lower intensity be better than strength training that is a higher intensity? Would it be better for the joints to focus on exercises in the water (thinking back to the picture in Mechanobiology of the older people in an aquatic class when we listened to the podcast on RA)? Super interesting and incredibly relevant topic Maddy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *