THE PAIN CHRONICLE – Down? A lot more people are these days, particularly those diagnosed with lupus or other chronic conditions. Why?
They face a three-fold risk of depression, according to researchers who recently identified a clear link between sedentary lupus patients and depression.
Activity it seems trumps poverty, racial status, lupus disease activity or co-occurring illnesses frequently among root causes of depression, according to new research from the University of California.
More than 70% of people with lupus have problems with general day-to-day activity, according to a World Lupus Foundation study conducted in recognition of World Lupus Day (Monday, May 10, 2021).
Pushing past the limitations is key, according to researchers who say that those prone to heart, lung, bone and joint issues can benefit from exercise, particularly activities that help reduce inflammation.
For the many on corticosteroids, it can also help manage the unpleasant weight gain often associated with its use.
It also helps to fight fatigue, muscle stiffness and range of motion, and contributes to lowering risk of heart disease.
“Go low and slow,” advise specialists who say that low-impact aerobic activities like walking, swimming, bicycling, aerobics, certain types of yoga, Pilates, stretching and water exercise will help strengthen bone health and muscle tone without aggravating inflamed joints.
One Ohio State research study in mice showed that moderate exercise (45 minutes of treadmill walking per day) significantly decreased inflammatory damage to the kidneys.
Researchers agree that low-impact activities help ward off the inflammation, painful joint pain and chronic fatigue.
Working out when you have lupus can seem like an insurmountable obstacle, says Wellness Expert Cassandra Corum in a Lupus.org article.
Taking care of your body must come first, according to Corum, who lives with a connective tissue disorder.
“When there’s something you have that you can’t control, it’s extremely frustrating. It can make you feel like your life is over,” she says. Exercise gives Corum the chance to work out some of those frustrations.
Controlling your body rather than it controlling you is empowering, according to Courm.
Editor’s Note: University of California researchers Sarah L Patterson, Laura Trupin, Jinoos Yazdany, Maria Dall’Era, Cristina Lanata, Kimberly Dequattro, Wendy Hartogensis and Patricia Katz contributed to the Physical Inactivity Indpedently Predicts Incident Depression in a Multi-Racial/Ethnic Systemic Lupus Cohort report
Lead image courtesy of World Lupus Day/rawpixel.com McKinsey