Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation in the Person with Scleroderma

Janet L. Poole


Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2010;22(2):205 

In This Article

Generalized Physical Exercise

In this review, generalized physical exercise is considered to involve aerobic exercise and strengthening or resistive exercise. Until very recently, the effectiveness of these types of exercise had not been studied in persons with scleroderma. Three studies exist (Table 5). The case report by Chernev et al. [27•] describes the outcomes from a 16-day acute rehabilitation program for a woman with diffuse scleroderma and an acute episode of myositis. The intervention, a resistance and stretching program, resulted in increases in strength, functional ability and a decrease in creatine kinase (CK). The other two studies were nonrandomized controlled trials. In the study by Antonioli et al.,[28••] the intervention consisted of breathing exercises, aerobic training on a treadmill, and finger stretching, whereas the intervention by Oliveira et al. [29••] consisted of an 8-week aerobic training program. Interestingly, the study by Oliveira et al. compared a control group of healthy women, whereas the control group in the study by Antonioli et al. consisted of patients frequently seen in the clinic who probably had more severe disease. The results from both studies were positive (Table 5).


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