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n International SportMed Journal - The effect of walking on the frequency and intensity of pain caused by muscle cramps in haemodialysis patients : a pilot study : original research article
Background : The pain, resulting from muscle cramps, is one of the most common complications of dialysis, which can result in disruptive dialysis sessions. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of walking on the frequency and the intensity of pain caused by muscle cramps among haemodialysis patients.
Methods : In an experimental design, 25 haemodialysis patients were randomly selected from three hospitals affiliated with Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2010 for 8 weeks. The patients in the experimental group (n=12) followed a designed exercise program (walking) 3 days a week. They had to exercise for 20 minutes immediately after their dialysis session, followed by 10 minutes of bed rest and deep slow breathing, while their eyes were closed. The control group (n=13) did not receive any exercise program. The intensity of pain caused by muscle cramps was measured by the Numerical Pain Scale both before and four and eight weeks after the exercise program. An interview and self-reporting were used in order to check the occurrence of muscle cramps.
Results : The results showed that the frequency of muscle cramps was reduced eight weeks after the exercise program in the experimental group. Moreover, the difference between the two groups was significant (p=0.01).
Conclusion : It was concluded that a walking exercise routine is a safe and inexpensive way for reducing the rate of recurrence of muscle cramps in haemodialysis patients without any side effects.
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