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UCB launches arthritis exercise programme in the UK

Scheme was piloted at two NHS Trusts during 2011

Brussels-headquartered biopharma company UCB has begun rolling out a physical activity programme for people in the UK living with rheumatoid arthritis.

The initiative involves a series of two-hour weekly activities over a period of 10 weeks, with participants encouraged to incorporate circuit-based training, walks, pilates, yoga and tai chi into their daily routine.

The scheme's roll out follows the success completion of a 2011 pilot scheme involving the Portsmouth and Solent NHS Trusts that was supervised by the Health Improvement and Development Service (HIDS) from Portsmouth City Council.

The service is now being offered to all NHS Trusts across the UK through UCB's Nurse Liaison Specialists (NLS) teams.

However, the move comes just as Arthritis Research UK publish a report that criticises many complementary therapies for arthritis as lacking scientific evidence of efficacy.

The report stated that not all therapies had been subjected to clinical trials and for those that have, there have been varying levels of effectiveness.

Rheumatoid arthritis was singled out in the report as being an area where very little research has been conducted for complementary therapies claiming to alleviate symptoms.

The patient group examined 24 trials over nine therapy areas and found there were few positive results (two out of five, on a scale of one representing little or no evidence of effectiveness, five representing good evidence of effectiveness) for biofeedback, relaxation therapy and tai chi, with even less positive results in other therapy areas.

Among the therapies shown to be most effective are:

  • Yoga for back pain
  • Tai chi for osteoarthritis
  • Massage for fibromyalgia and low back pain

But very little evidence was found to support the widely used copper and magnetic therapy for musculoskeletal disorder.

9th January 2013

From: Marketing

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