A patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may face a number of barriers to exercise. Exercise can improve the patient’s physical status and overall quality of life so should be encouraged.


General barriers:

(1) fatigue

(2) pain in joints

(3) deconditioning

(4) depression

(5) tiredness from poor sleep quality

(6) medication side effects


Barriers that may be present depending on disease severity and activity:

(1) vasculitis

(2) myositis

(3) dyspnea

(4) fibromyalgia

(5) CNS involvement

(6) carditis


A patient should be encouraged to exercise as much as possible. If significant barriers are present then this may need to be conducted under supervision so that exercise can be adapted to abilities.


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