Dieting with Obstacles - Trying to exercise with ARTHRITIS

View Full Version : Trying to exercise with ARTHRITIS

10-07-2009, 10:05 AM
Good Morning ladies
I have arthrtitis in both my knees and a problem with my feet. Last week I wanted to get out and do some walking. I was only able to do about 20 minutes or so before my knees would just kill me. Well I don't know why I didn't think of it before but I realized I should see my orthopedic Dr and get a shot. Well that's exactly what I did. He gave me shots in both of my knees and I CAN'T BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE. I'm like a whole new person. I'm not in pain all day. I'm going to get out and try and do some walking while the weather is still nice. Then later in the season hit the treadmill.

I don't know how long the shot is going to last it's like a false sense of hope. Like the rug could be pulled out from under my feet at any time.

You really can't know what I'm talking about unless you have arthritis but here's an idea. Before the shots I could not get up off the sofa, chair, or get out of the car,or stand up from the table (that's really embarassing when out with friends) without holding onto something braceing myself then wait for my knees to settle in place then walk.

I've had arthritis for years but yet the Dr says I'm too young for knee replacement. I'm 53

So I'm going to do all that I can while I feel good.:cool::p

10-07-2009, 02:04 PM
My husband and I both have severe joint pain issues (I'm 43, he's 39). Hubby has a degenerative joint condition that runs in his family. Doctors predicted he's be on full disability by age 30 - he made it to 35, probably only because he had an incredibly strenuous job - his bones, muscles and tendons were probably compensating for the weakness in the joints).

Many exercises help strengthen the damaged joints, but exercise hurts so bad, it's really hard to do.

For me, the steroid injections help, but because I also need periodic steroid treatment for autoimmune disease, my doctors and I have to be very conservative regarding how often and how much steroid I can get. Corticosteroids are a double-edged sword. Steroids do damage of their own, and often the effects are cumulative, but for the disorders they treat - there really aren't great alternatives.

For me, a steroid injection in my knees helps for about 6 months. My doctor is willing to give me about one shot a year. So for the other 6 months I'm on my own (often that isn't exactly true, because I also end up with one or two flares of the autoimmune disease every year, and am on an oral steroid for a while - which aren't quite as effective for the joint pain as the shots, but still a marked improvement).

I have quite a bit of arthritis in my hands, and while it can be quite painful for me to knit and crochet - I find that if I DON'T I'm in even more pain. Just as with hand joints, my knee and hip joints work better with less pain when I do move regularly, but it's so hard to get motivated to do anything you know is going to hurt (even when you know that not doing so is going to be even worse).

For me, it helps to walk with a purpose. Walking just to walk, I get demotivated as soon as I start to hurt. But, if I'm shopping or walking a dog, I have a purpose. Last year, I walked dogs at the humane society. I haven't gone back since they gave me a dog far too strong for me. I've been a bit hesitant every since, but I'm thinking of starting up again next week. I see from their web page, that they're getting in a lot of small dogs (I'd get a dog myself, except we have an elderly cat who is very antisocial to other critters).

Warm water exercise is great too. Even when I'm hurting badly, I can do quite a bit in the water. The Arthritis Foundation in your area (often partnering with YMCAs, so you could also call there) could tell you if there's a warm water exercise program in your area. That's wonderful, especially during the months that walking is really hard for me (the winter - I'm so afraid of falling on ice, that I find it very difficult to even leave the house).

10-07-2009, 04:52 PM
Kaplods beat me to it about the warm water exercise! It's great! I've had the injections in the knees also. I haven't had any in almost 2 years, and I'm just now starting to hurt more each day, so I guess it is about time again. The first time that I had one, it lasted about 6 months.

10-08-2009, 09:19 AM
My doctor said he would only give me 3. That's it so I'm hoping this last awhile.

I have the YMCA arthritis classes about 10 minutes from my house. The problem is the times they give the classes. They seem to have them geared for (and I guess rightfully so ) seniors that are home during the day.

The easy class is at 9am then there is an intermediate one at 1pm then the hard one aqua jogging is at 7 pm.

I work PT so the only one I really could make on a regular basis is the 7pm one and I'll be the first to tell you I'm lazy. Once I get in this house that's pretty much it. Mind you I'm home by 3:30.

I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago and I printed out the YMCA brochure for the @ 8th time in 2 years. I keep wanting to join and just never do. They even have a punch card system where you can get 10 punches for $90. But it seems like a waste. I should just join. It's $399 for the year.

I'm trying to motivate myself and exercise at home. That's not working to well. If you have TIME WARNER CABLE TV. They have exercise on Demand and there are quite a lot of shows to pick. I recently did Back to BOLLYWOOD which is indian aerobics and guess what........SHE WAS ON THE DR. OZ SHOW YESTERDAY. I couldn't believe it. It's a fun video even though I haven't gotten thru the whole thing yet. I have a great treadmill. Yesterday I did it for about 15 minutes. I was better when I went outside and walked ........ I waled longer outside.

Before the shots I tried walking a couple of times and could do about 15 minutes before my knees and feet would kill me. With the shot the other day I walked 1 1/4 mile . That was good. I still haven't been able to do a full 30 minutes of anything......... oh well just have to keep on pushing.

11-06-2009, 02:31 PM
Hi, I'm new to this blogging thing but know about exercising with arthritis. I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis which means I was diagnosed as a kid (8yrs old). I went through all the hydrotherapy, physical therapy, shots, yada yada. What I find most helpful is yoga. I'm not talking stand on your head bent in a pretzle yoga, but hatha yoga. It's more about the breathing and stretching. I started out being able to only lay on the mat and do some easy poses modified to protect my joints. Now I'm able to do more regular moves but not hold them quite as long as is expected. There are tons of yoga poses on the web as well as studios and classes at rec centers. If you do decide to take up yoga I would suggest buying the thicker (thus more expensive) mat. Normally they're about a quarter inch thick, but the thicker one's are about an inch wide. And if you do poses where you are on your hands and knees fold the mat like an accordian for extra cusion. Good luck!

11-06-2009, 05:26 PM
SUGGESTION ~ for those like myself whose knees are too bad to kneel on: I do some of my exercises on my bed and my sofa (couch). I do a bunch on my bed upon awaking for about 20-30 minutes before getting up. In the afternoon and/or the evening, I do some different ones my sofa; then I do some chair aerobics as well: I even do some while waiting for things to come up on my pc ... hope this may help someone, as I can do much more now than I used to. :hug:

11-08-2009, 09:20 AM
Justwant2Bhealthy Hi I just looked on youtube and typed in hatha yoga
all of the ones I saw had people on the floor doing bending like a pretzel.

Do you have a tape that just concentrates on the breathing and is it called something different. Thanks.

Joanne D
11-18-2009, 08:19 PM
Doing exercise in bed sounds good. I have arthritis and can't do many exercise,but, I can walk. I have lost a lot of weight walking..

11-20-2009, 09:09 AM
2feelbetter - I also have arthritis all over (knees, hips, spine, hands...). When I first started my journey to health I could only walk about 15 minutes without pain. Every day I would try to go just a little bit longer than was comfortable, not enough to overdo just enough to push a bit. Over time with continued exercise and as the weight came off it got easier and easier. I'm sure your doctor has told you what a difference even 10 lbs will make to your knees. That's what got me started :) What they don't tell you is that as you continue exercising all the supporting muscles strengthen and take some of the stress off. It was awhile before I could walk an hour straight, but it happened. Hopefully by the time the shots wear off you will have lost a few lbs and those muscles will be coming along.

11-21-2009, 05:11 PM
CyndiM Yes my doctors keep telling me that. I'm trying to gradually change things on my own. I know I'm not going to do the caorie counting so I'm trying to modify things bit by bit.

I'm kind of proud of the fact that for the past week I' measured and eaten 1 cup of cereal with 2% milk as opposed to lets say a croissant with butter and cheese or a sausage egg cheese biscuit .

I've also been trying these dance videos that I like. So I'm making small steps.

I also have PTT in my feet which is adult flat feet and that right now is a bigger problem then my knees. I can't even describe the pain after standing for 5 hours. I can hardly walk. My ft dr said I need to loose some weight. So I'm going to give it a good try. Unfortunately Red Lobster did not help last night LOL

11-22-2009, 06:34 PM
Another really good winter resource are the Walk Away the Pounds videos. She has some that are just one mile - slightly less than 20 minutes and very easy on your joints. I'm actually getting ready to dig mine out now that it is getting colder. You can do it!

11-24-2009, 06:14 PM
Uhmmm ... I think that was MORTSCIGIRL that was talking about the Hatha Yoga ... I was mentioning the exercises on the bed, sofa, and chairs -- you can even get videos/dvds for the chair aerobics (just google that).

I have the Leslie Sansone WOTP dvds; and can do them when my legs and feet feel well. I also prefer walking, but you can just do 10 minutes at a time for now; if you can do the tapes at home, you can takes resting breaks as you need to (I do) ...

I heard a doctor on the net say that we don't have to run a marathon to be physically fit; walking for any amount of time for 3-4 days a week is fine. He said to start with 5-10 minutes and work your way up; OR just do 10 minutes 3 x times over the day. :hug:

11-30-2009, 06:06 PM
Be careful w/ the Leslie Sansone tapes if you have arthritis in your knees. My PT said not to do any marching/jogging in place exercises, so no more WATP for me. :(

11-30-2009, 09:08 PM
I have rheumatoid arthritis. Swimming is the best for arthritis but we only have one public indoor here in town and its only open during the day :( My feet are giving me problems these days so I can only walk about 15 minutes at a time. That is better than nothing. Diet is a large part of this process too!

12-01-2009, 09:25 AM
I have a big problem with my feet also. It's called PTT I've been to 4 Doctors. Nothing is working. Basically I work PT sales so I'm on my feet. When I come home I can hardly walk so add that to Arthur in my knees and it's a double whammy.

We do have a YWCA here that has the aqua arthritis program but like the other person said they are basically in the day. The night class is advanced.

12-01-2009, 10:10 AM
Be careful w/ the Leslie Sansone tapes if you have arthritis in your knees. My PT said not to do any marching/jogging in place exercises, so no more WATP for me. :(

I have undiagnosed issues with my knees, but I'd get the family dog that arthritis is the culprit. I've injured both knees in the past, so it's a fair guess there.When I tried the WATP videos a few years ago, I noticed my knees creaking and popping when I tried to do the semi-sqauts. Now they hurt, creak, and pop. I'm sure the excess weight makes whatever is going on much worse. I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and go talk to my doctor.

12-03-2009, 03:28 PM
I have undiagnosed issues with my knees, but I'd get the family dog that arthritis is the culprit. I've injured both knees in the past, so it's a fair guess there.When I tried the WATP videos a few years ago, I noticed my knees creaking and popping when I tried to do the semi-sqauts. Now they hurt, creak, and pop. I'm sure the excess weight makes whatever is going on much worse. I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and go talk to my doctor.

In addition to arthritis, I have patellar chondromalacia. That's where the kneecap is not sitting in the groove completely and scrapes up against the bones, which also causes the grinding/popping/creaking sounds. You might have that going on, too. It's from the muscles surrounging/supporting the knee not being strong enough and eventally allows the kneecap to get out of alignment. Basic treatment is building up the mucslces, losing weight (every 10 lbs lost is like 30-40 off your knees) and avoiding certain movements. I went to PT for mine. I haven't been doing my exercises lately, and one knee is getting worse, so I am trying to get back in the groove with them.

12-03-2009, 04:44 PM
Does anyone do the aqua therapy classes thet the YMCA offers?

I have one close by but the hours are just not right for me. The one that I could make is at night at 7pm and that's aqua jogging....... the most advanced.

12-03-2009, 05:51 PM
Does anyone do the aqua therapy classes thet the YMCA offers?

I have one close by but the hours are just not right for me. The one that I could make is at night at 7pm and that's aqua jogging....... the most advanced.

Not the Y, but I do at my gym (Wellness Center run by the hospital). I do the Water Aerobics class. They also have a Range of Motion class, but that's more for older people and people recovering from injuries. Arthristis qualifies, but you don't really burn many calories doing that class as it's pretty slow.

Jogging in the pool is way less stressful on your knees than on land. You cna always give it a try and see how you hold up!

12-05-2009, 04:28 PM
anyone have any suggestions of an elipitical (sp?) machine that you use for exercise with your arthritis?

12-06-2009, 09:36 AM
i personally was never able to use an elliptical machine

Joanne D
12-06-2009, 10:53 AM
Hello.. I don't know how I got on this site ,but it looks good.. I must have visited it at one time.. I have tried many of the machines at the spa and been to water therapy. After losing lots of money I found that the only exercise I am able to do and stick to is walking. I have a treadmill for the bad weather day.With the help of weight Watchers and walking I have lost 74 lbs and am now in the process of losing 9 I picked up after being sick and slacking off. I used to walk 3 miles every day, now I am doing 5 miles in two sessions every day . I rarely miss a day.. I am 76 years young and soon to be 77. If you find the machines are too hard maybe just walking will help..
My daughter has used the elliptical and really liked it.. I guess starting slow and working up would help..
Have a great day.. Joanne

12-09-2009, 06:46 PM
I was at work today and talking about arthritis and then it came up about the aqua aerobics again and this one guy said his mother started when she was in her 60's and had back problems and (like me) she didn't want to get her hair wet.


I said OMG I didn't even think of that. He said she would start walking back and forth and in a few weeks or months (don't remember ) she starting feeling better and later she took the swim class and learned to swim and now she does laps and she's in her 80's and feeling great. !

I would have never thought about just walking in the pool

I do have a nice treadmill but like I said when my feet hurt I just can't do it.
I may treat myself next year and just join the gym . I've always like working out.

It snowed here today and my back is feeling it. Very strange, I didn't even shovel snow. Earlier this year I hurt my back so bad that I could hardly walk. Had to get a facet block shot (6 shots at one time ) they put you to sleep to do it. I asked them what was the cause of all this pain and they said arthritis in my lower back. Which I didn't even know I had. It got aggraviated when I shoveled the snow. I couldn't, and still, barely believe it. I was in severe pain for about 2 months before I got this shot.

If anyone goes to the Y to join ask them if they have special rates. My Y has a special rate for state employees.

Joanne D
12-09-2009, 08:01 PM
If you have Humana insurance they have a program called Silver Slippers. Sometimes with a Dr. scrip you can get water therapy and your insurance will pay for it. I went for awhile to walk in the water and take the water exercises. I couldn't keep it up as the water was too cold. My arthritis hurt too much.. You need a heated pool . At least I did. I now walk outside. Here in Florida You can do that almost year round.
Don't give up. Joanne

12-22-2009, 03:57 AM
I can totally relate to everyone's difficulties with exercise and having arthritis. I was diagnosed with moderate/severe osteoarthritis in both knees and they have been scoped in the last 6 months to year. My surgeon is hoping that we can put off knee replacements for at least 10 years...preferrably 20 years. I'm 32 years old. There are good days and bad days. Some days I can't get out of bed without having to hold onto the walls for support. I think having arthritis is terrible no matter what age, but it can be a miserable feeling to feel 32 on the inside and then 92 physically. I am trying to take advantage of my "good" days and find some exercises, like the stationary bike to stay limber and I've also joined Weight Watchers. The surgeon said that losing weight won't reverse or even slow the progression of the disease, but it may help my joint comfort.

I hope that you all are finding something that works for you and that there are more good days for you as well.

Oh by the way, I've been taking a supplement for arthritis and I do think it's helped with some of the pain.

12-22-2009, 07:16 PM
so far the shots are helping alot. I also told the Dr I wanted a handicap parking permit and he gave it to me. Mind you it;s not that easy to get. I told him I've had 3 temporary ones and I'm tired of it. I told him I can't sit on the toilet, get out of my car, or off the sofa without holding on to something.

I work partime in sales and when I leave work I don't want to stop at any stores or do errands becasue of my feet and knees. Right now my feet are worse then my knees.

I did this exercise tape called Disco was on the exercise channel thru TIME WARNER CABLE.It's really fun it 's more like dancing and not a lot of squating which I can't do.

My kids came home from college for xmas.and it's been a downhill battle since then. Chips, candy, ice cream. I'm a mess and I was doing so good before :(

Joanne D
12-23-2009, 07:54 PM
I can relate to holiday snacks and food,food,food everywhere..I have told the hubby when the holidays are gone so is the bad eating..I won't tell him he is on the WW eating plan.. He just spent 4 days in the hospital with a bad case of colitis. We thought they were going to operate. I just told him today that that would have meant a colostomy bag.
My arthritis is bad right now too. I woke up this morning and could hardly walk. My left knee is really bad. I think all the walking from the parking lot to hospital and back didn't help.Plus I have to walk our pug 4 times a day. Two walks pretty long. She depends on that and won't take care of business till she decides or gets her time out.My shoulders have been hurting for a couple months.
Losing weight helped me some. My back is better but the knees and feet still hurt. But, If we don't keep moving it will be worse. With osteoarthritis you need to keep up the movement.I already have one knee replacement.
Hope you all have a Wonderful Christmas..Joanne

12-23-2009, 09:25 PM
Joanne D HOw much weight have you lost and how did you do it.
Walking your dog seems like it's good for you also. I have a dog but I just let him go in the back yard.

Joanne D
12-24-2009, 11:06 AM
I lost 74 lbs but have put 10 back on that I am trying to lose.. I know this is not the best time of the year to lose. Weight Watchers was a big help to me.. Walking was another. At first I was lucky to walk 1/2 mile. now I can do 3 miles easy. not this week though. my knee is really bad. I think it will get better with rest. All I plan to do today is vacuum, dust and go to grocery store. my daughter will be here this afternoon. Oh yes take the dog out for short walks she won't go in the yard. Very picky. She is a pug. I can't go far till my knee heals.

12-25-2009, 09:16 PM
:newyear:My left knee is especially bad this week, too. I've noticed alot of you have said you are more uncomfortable now also. I wonder if it's weather related? Here in KS we had alot of snow, high winds, and it's really cold. I wonder if people in warm, dry climates have as much trouble with arthritis?? I've been taking alot of ibuprofen and using heated rice bags the past few days.

-I, too, will glad when all the holiday goodies are gone. I have weigh-in on Monday, so that's keeping me "good" right now, the fear of the scale...LOL!

:tree::rudolph:Merry Christmas, everyone!!!!:snowglo:

09-14-2010, 10:59 PM
I too have problems with my knees, though it is not arthritis. The kneecap isn't aligned right. The docs have told me it's like patellar tracking disorder. They hurt when I go down stairs; sometimes only a little, but often a lot. I can't imagine going down stairs without a rail to hold on to. I've got exercises from a PT for strengthening. And losing weight will help with the pain. But I worry a lot about doing anything that jars my knees or puts undue stress. I do walk as much as I can because I love it and I'm a city gal. I'm humbled by the situation all of you have written about. It sounds worse than what I've had to deal with. But my knee situation has kind of derailed me in ways I could not have imagined a few years ago.

I hope you get some relief from the shots.

10-15-2010, 06:41 PM
I was trying to do the elliptical machine at the gym today for the first time. After about 30 seconds I was DONE. A short time later the gym was empty so I tried a different elliptical I lasted a little longer but I couldn't even do 2 minutes.

It seems like I don't have the strength in my thighs and hips. There was one elliptical that was old and it seemed like it was almost electrical because it was moving my legs for me more so then the newer machine.

Everyone always said that it's a good machine for arthritis but I just can't get it.

Joanne D
10-16-2010, 10:51 AM
Last year at Christmas time I was able to walk 3 miles easy. This year is a different story. I was very sick in Jan. of last year. In the hospital a month. That didn't stop me. I got my strength back and started to walk again. Then my left knee said goodbye. I still walk but just a few blocks at a time. I think the trick is starting any exercise slow and working up.
You did 2 minutes then go to 3 minutes. and so forth. .Before you know it you will be at 30 easy.I think walking is one of the best exercises you can do.
I have osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. Losing the weight helps 50%.
Have a good week...Joanne

10-16-2010, 06:46 PM
.I think walking is one of the best exercises you can do.
I have osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. Losing the weight helps 50%.
Have a good week...Joanne

I like walking. I have a norditrack treadmill in my basement but I notice it bothers my knees also. Sometimes I walk around the high school track which is 5 minutes away. It's a really nice track they just redid it and being outside is just very tranquil as opposed to me being in my basement looking at the TV walking.

I ventured out this morning and took a Zumba class. I said I wasn't going to do it anymore because it was bothering my knees but I really wanted to take it. I try not to jump up and down and just mock most of the steps. Well it's about 5 hours later and my knees hurt. Mind you I just got shots in both my knees a month ago.

Right after I got the shots I joined the gym. I've been doing water aerobics and zumba. This week I didn't do the zumba 2x a week like before, I did the water aerobics 3 x then this morning I just had to Zumba.... now I'm paying for it. LOL

Joanne D
10-17-2010, 11:34 AM
2feelbetter- Walking in water is good. Hardly any stress on knees.I had a norditrack too. I much rather walk outside. I wish I could do more walking than I do. My health dictates to me now..
Get healthy.. Join Weight Watchers Or Tops. They helped me..Joanne