(HealthDay News) — Exercise helps relieve aromatase inhibitor (AI)-induced pain in breast cancer survivors, according to research published online December 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Melinda L. Irwin, PhD, MPH, of the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, CT, and colleagues randomly assigned breast cancer patients receiving an AI who reported arthralgia to either exercise (61 patients) or usual care (60 patients). Exercise consisted of 150 minutes per week of aerobic exercise and twice-weekly supervised strength training.

The researchers found that, at 12 months, worst joint pain scores decreased by 1.6 points (29%) in the exercise group and increased by 0.2 points in the usual-care group (P<0.001). Significant decreases in pain severity and interference; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand pain scores; and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis pain scores also were observed in the exercise group compared with the usual-care group.

“Exercise led to improvement in AI-induced arthralgia in previously inactive breast cancer survivors,” the authors write.

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