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Exercise eases arthritis pain

Physical activity can help to relieve the painful symptoms of arthritis, experts have found.

A study published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research found that regular exercise can significantly improve arthritis pain by helping to strengthen muscles and keep the joints flexible.

The study found that patients who took part in an eight-week exercise programme benefited from a decrease in pain and fatigue, an improvement in upper and lower limb function, and an increase in strength.

Study author Dr Leigh Callahan, a researcher at the University of North Carolina's Thurston Arthritis Research centre, revealed that the exercise programme proved suitable for patients of all fitness levels, including inactive, elderly people.

'Many people believe the myth that exercise exacerbates their symptoms. The truth revealed in the study is that symptoms improved with exercise,' he said.

The programme involved a series of low-impact routines with gentle movements designed to work out the joints without building up a sweat.

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