Rheumatoid Arthritis: Exercise Programming for the Strength and Conditioning Professional

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease that affects the joints of the body resulting in deformity and functional impairments. RA affects approximately 1.3 million americans with women being affected more than men. Because of the frequency of this condition, it is important for the strength and conditioning professional to have an understanding of the disease process and guidelines for exercise prescription. This article discusses the etiology, client presentation, medical management, exercise programming, types of exercise, and nutritional considerations for the adult client with RA.