Effectiveness of exercise intervention in relieving symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis: A network meta-analysis

Author: Yekui Luo1, Yonghuan Chen1, Xiangning Yan2, Lan Zhang1, Yuan Shang1, Jae Chul Seo1
1 Department of Marine Sports, Pukyong National University, Busan, South Korea.
2 Physical Education, Shaanxi College of Communications Technology, Xi'an, China.
Conference/Journal: PLoS One
Date published: 2024 Jun 14
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 6 , Pages: e0302965 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0302965. , Word Count: 402

Ankylosing spondylitis(AS) is a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease that leads to a reduced quality of life. Exercise appears to be one of the promising modes of intervention. The aim of this study was to review the available evidence and compare the effectiveness of different exercises in relieving symptoms of AS.

We searched the Pubmed, WOS, EMbase, CNKI, Cochrane Library, and Scopus databases. The search has spanned from the creation of the database until September 15, 2023. We extracted the first author, year of article publication, sample information, intervention, duration of intervention, and outcome indicators from the literature that met the inclusion criteria. The Cochrane Risk Assessment Tool was used to assess the risk of bias for included studies. I² was used to judge the consistency of the included studies. Egger's test and Begg's test were used to judge whether there was significant publication bias. Forest plots were used to compare intervention effects and SUCRA was provided to rank the effects of the interventions. This study has been registered in PROSPERO(No. CRD42024518522).

After screening, 10 papers matched the inclusion criteria for this study, and the total sample size of the 10 papers was 623. Upon analysis, the papers included in this study did not have significant publication bias (Begg's Test P = 0.210) and had good consistency (P>0.05). The direct comparisons showed that Running, Pilates, Stretching, Yoga, and Tai Chi were more effective interventions than traditional therapies. The effect sizes, confidence intervals, and number of studies for each intervention are shown below: Running [MD -1.90 (95% CI -3.14,-0.66) n = 1], Pilates [MD -1.70 (95% CI -2.90,-0.51) n = 1], Stretching [MD -1.54 (95% CI -2.21,-0.88) n = 4], Yoga [MD -1.24 (95% CI -2.18,-0.30) n = 1], Tai Chi [MD -0.78 (95% CI -1.44,-0.12) n = 2], Exergame[MD -0.80 (95% CI -1.99,0.39) n = 1], Swiss balls[MD -1.07 (95% CI -2.58,0.44) n = 1]. The indirect comparisons showed that the range of effect sizes for each sport intervention intersected the null line. Based on cumulative probability, the order of effectiveness of different exercises in relieving AS symptoms is Running, Pilates, Stretching, Yoga, Tai Chi, Exergame, and Swiss ball.

Running, Pilates, Stretching, Yoga, and Tai Chi provided significant relief from AS symptoms. Exergame and Swiss ball were not statistically significant in relieving AS symptoms. There were no significant differences in the effectiveness of different exercise interventions in relieving AS symptoms. Running may have the most beneficial effect on alleviating AS symptoms.

PMID: 38875227 PMCID: PMC11178210 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0302965