Reducing risks of osteoporosis fractures in Crohn’s disease with impact and resistance training

Cr. John Arano

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A recent study shows that combined impact and resistance training exercises helps raise bone mineral density (BMD) and muscle function, which benefits patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) who has a high risk in developing osteoporosis and related fractures.

Researchers selected adults with stable CD (n=47, mean age=49.3 years) and were assigned to undergo an exercise intervention (n=23) or receive usual care alone (n=24) for 6 months. Usual care plus a combined impact and resistance training programme were given to the exercise group while patients underwent three 60-minutes sessions per week, with a gradual tapering of supervision to self-management.

Most of the patients had quiescent disease and none of the patients smoked. 216 months median time since the CD diagnosis and according to baseline BMD measurements, 12 patients had evidence of osteopaenia or osteoporosis at the lumbar spine and 20 at the left hip. The most common medications used for CD were immunosuppressants and biologics; none were on corticosteroids.

The bone mineral density (BMD) values were better in the exercise vs the control group at 6 months, with the difference significant at lumbar spine, but not at femoral neck nor at greater trochanter.

Even though there were three exercise-related adverse events (for instance light-headedness and nausea) the intervention yielded improvements in all muscle function outcomes and fatigue severity.

The findings highlight the intervention as a suitable model of exercise for reducing the future risk of osteoporotic fractures and physical disability in this high‐risk population, according to researchers.

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