Fibromyalgia & Arthritis Studies

The Arthritis Foundation recommends Nordic Walking for people suffering with Arthritis and Fibromyalgia: 

“For people with joint injuries in their lower bodies or lower back, trekking poles can help absorb some of the landing impact with each step, particularly when going downhill,” says Martica Heaner, PhD, an exercise physiologist, nutritionist and certified Nordic walking instructor in New York City. The poles help keep the body upright and symmetrical, improving balance, Heaner says.

And a study of fibromyalgia patients, published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, found that Nordic walking helped improve physical function more than a lower intensity walking program.

The Arthritis Foundation Walk with Ease is an evidence-based program that is proven to reduce the pain of arthritis and improve your overall health. North Shore Nordic Walking will be offering this guided 6-week walking program the summer of 2016, contact me for additional information and walk schedule.

Click on the links below to go to the study abstracts:

In hip osteoarthritis, Nordic Walking is superior to strength training and home-based exercise for improving function.

This observer-blinded, randomized controlled trial compared the short- and long-term effects of 4 months of supervised Strength Training in a local fitness center, supervised Nordic Walking in a local park, and unsupervised Home-Based Exercise on functional performance in 60+-year-old persons with hip osteoarthritis not awaiting hip replacement.

Generally, improvements in functional performance were greater after Nordic Walking compared with Home Based Exercise and Strength Training at all follow-up time points (2, 4, and 12 months). Furthermore, Nordic Walking was superior to Home-Based Exercise for improving vigorous physical activity and to both Strength Training and Home-Based Exercise for improving mental health. These data suggest that Nordic Walking is the recommended exercise modality compared with Strength Training and Home-Based Exercise.

Does moderate-to-high intensity Nordic walking improve functional capacity and pain in fibromyalgia? A prospective randomized controlled trial.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of moderate-to-high intensity Nordic walking (NW) on functional capacity and pain in fibromyalgia (FM).

Moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise by means of Nordic walking twice a week for 15 weeks was found to be a feasible mode of exercise, resulting in improved functional capacity and a decreased level of activity limitations. Pain severity did not change over time during the exercise period.

Nordic walking in fibromyalgia: a means of promoting fitness that is easy for busy clinicians to recommend.

Moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise by means of Nordic walking twice a week for 15 weeks was found to be a feasible mode of exercise, resulting in improved functional capacity and a decreased level of activity limitations.

“Four legs instead of two” – perspectives on a Nordic walking-based walking programme among people with arthritis.

The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of participants with arthritis on a Nordic Walking-based walking programme including factors contributing to sustained participation in the programme.

Several benefits of a NW-based walking programme from the perspectives of individuals with arthritis who engage in group-based walking programmes were identified. The benefits may encourage sustained participation and justify the promotion of NW as an intervention for people with arthritis.

Implications for Rehabilitation

  • Considering how to sustain exercise participation is important to ensure continued benefits from physical activity participation
  • A community-based Nordic walking-based walking programme for people with arthritis improved exercise knowledge and confidence to exercise
  • Group exercise is valuable in providing support and motivation to continue exercising

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