Dieting with Obstacles - Exercise with arthritis?




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SuperHeroTeacher
04-15-2013, 01:06 AM
I've suffered from osteoarthritis for years. I've recently started Medifast and hope to be able to start exercising soon. I have severe arthritis in both knees and in my left shoulder.

Does anyone here exercise regularly with OA? What do you do? How often? How do you avoid (or bear) the pain with movement?


sparks17
04-23-2013, 11:22 AM
I have the same question! My arthritis is worst in my knees and feet, and troublesome in my hips and getting worse in my fingers.

I look at all the squats and step aerobics some people do - OUCH! It hurts to get on the floor and then up again, so I avoid Pilates and yoga and situps and such things. My dr. suggests swimming, but there is no gym with a pool nearby and I am not at the point where I can leave my family that long every day.

However, this is what I DO do. It's been three weeks this time, but I have done these things for several months at a time on and off through the past years.

1. Walk. I take a slow pace and then speed up as I feel able...but I do not go so fast or pound the pavement (I walk on city sidewalks) so hard that it hurts. Slow and steady may not lose me as much weight as hard and fast, but I can walk daily and do 1-2 miles at a time without it hurting. This adds up!

2. Strength training. Well, sometimes I joke that it is weak training, but it is better than nothing! 3x per week in the morning I do seated and standing exercises for my upper and lower body. I usually watch a tv show while I do it, as I get way way bored with exercise videos. My routine right now (I just graduated myself to 3lb weights!) alternates upper and lower body exercises. I chose them from different websites, like Spark People, Youtube and Livestrong. Leg lifts, seated rotations, overhead presses, etc. I do 15x reps of each exercise and just go through the list and repeat till the show I am watching is done - 25-30m or so. Again, it is not very much compared to some who have no joint pain or who are stronger, but it is so much better for me than just sitting around.

As for the pain...I will take Aleve when it is bad, but I never push myself so hard that it hurts more than I can bear. And I allow myself to rest afterwards when I need to.

Hope that helped you some!

fadedbluejeans
04-23-2013, 01:48 PM
Try Peggy Cappy's Easy Yoga for Easing Pain or Easy Yoga for Arthritis.


Garnet2727
04-23-2013, 02:16 PM
I have osteo arthritis in my feet, ankles, knees and right shoulder. I take Aleve twice a day, every day and Vicodin as needed for pain. Exercise has been more of a challenge for me than changing what I eat. I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now due to injuring my ankle last November, pushing through the pain and injuring it worse then ending up in physical therapy for 8 weeks in February and March. I'm gradually getting back to exercising.

Here's what works for me:


I have an recumbant exercise bike at home. When I first got it, I was worried about the repetitive motions on my knees and ankles but I need not have worried. I just started out slow and easy. The first time on got on the thing, I only lasted five minutes. Now, I rountinely do half an hour.
Swimming is the best thing for me because it takes all the weight off my joints and offers resistance. I'm struggling a bit with that right now as the pool I was going to has closed. But as soon as I can find another place to go, I'll be back in the water. Again, I'm careful and I take it pretty easy. I've been pleasantly surprise at how much swimming has helped ease my pain.
Walking. I know that this is counter-intuitive but walking is another form of exercise I enjoy. When I started, I could barely walk down to the end of my driveway and back. I actually got to the point that I could walk a mile. After my ankle injury, I had to stop walking for a while. Now, I'm back up to walking half a mile. Again, I take it easy and if I start feeling bone pain, I cut short my walks.


I've had to learn the hard way where the balance is between regular exercise pain and "I'm damaging myself" pain. If it's mild muscular pain, I'll push it a bit. If it's grinding bone pain or bone aches, I cut short whatever I'm doing and rest. If I'm just a little tired, I'll push through. If I'm really fatigued and have that heavy limb feeling, I stop and rest.

I've been amazed at how far I've come since I started my weight loss efforts in January of 2012. Even though I had a set back with that ankle injury, I'm so much more physically capable now. I can do routine things like dishes and hauling in bags of groceries and shopping and walking through airports. When I started, all of those things were very painful challenges.

The best advice I can give is treat yourself gently, whatever you choose to try.

kaplods
04-23-2013, 02:27 PM
I have multiple health issues that contribute to pain and mobility issues, including osteoarthritis, fibromialgia and an autoimmune disease attacking my lungs, sinuses, joints, and skin. It can make movement and exercising regularly difficult and painful. As painful as it is to exercise, not exercising in the long run results in more pain and fatigue.

My former rheumatologist when I was living in Illinois actually gave me extra pain meds to use before exercising to help "get me started," by making exercise less painful. Ironically with arthritis and other chronic pain conditions, taking meds to prevent pain generally allow a person to take less meds than using the same meds to treat the pain once it has gotten severe. I'd also suggest asking about fish oil - I take 2000mg in the am and 2000mg at night. I started taking it when I learned that I couldn't take any other antiinlammatory drugs. It's important to talk to your doctor first, because the fish oil can interact with some meds.

I would HIGHLY recommend checking with your local Arthritis Foundation, Department on Aging and Disability Resources, United Way, doctor, Health Department, YMCA, or google to see if you can find a warm water exercise program (the warmer, the better to start). I started my exercise in such a program, and it was awesome. Not only did it allow me to exercise painlessly, just being in the water relieved much of my pain. It's a shame that every community doesn't have access to such programs, but they are much more common than most people realize - they tend to be hidden treasures - hidden in plain sight, but invisible because they're rarely advertised or promoted.

merilung
04-23-2013, 02:45 PM
I have RA, not OA, so not the same thing, but I use tiger balm on sore joints before and after workouts. I also go in for acupuncture once a week and get reflexology/massage done as needed, which helps control my overall pain levels.

I don't know if this is typically the case with OA as well, but I find that even though it hurts to start an exercise routine, I have a LOT more pain and stiffness if I'm not getting my exercise in - 250 minutes a week is kind of the bare-bones minimum for me to feel human most of the time. I do long walks (a 3.0 - 3.5 mph pace), gentle yoga, and I go running a few times a week.

seabiscuit
05-04-2013, 07:42 AM
Water exercise really works well for me. Walking does too but I think it is important to walk on a supportive surface instead of pavement if you can. Also, SuperFeet makes good supports for shoes. My former physical therapist recommended them due to the arthritis in my feet and they do make a difference. They area about $30 for a pair but they are very durable and very supportive. Mine lasted me about 9 months! They make difference levels of supports but the bright green is for heavy walking, and a lot of shoe stores carry them. They are on the internet too I think.

Most of all, I think it is important to be gentle with oneself!

:)

2feelbetter
05-07-2013, 04:24 PM
I have OA in both knees and PTTD in both feet my feet are in CONSTANT PAIN. I just started a new thread under dieting with obstacles titled KNEE REPLACEMENT & WEIGHT LOSS. Take a look at it I posted what type of exercise I do.

2feelbetter
05-07-2013, 04:41 PM
Here's what works for me:


I have an recumbant exercise bike at home. When I first got it, I was worried about the repetitive motions on my knees and ankles but I need not have worried. I just started out slow and easy. The first time on got on the thing, I only lasted five minutes. Now, I rountinely do half an hour.
Swimming is the best thing for me because it takes all the weight off my joints and offers resistance. I'm struggling a bit with that right now as the pool I was going to has closed. But as soon as I can find another place to go, I'll be back in the water. Again, I'm careful and I take it pretty easy. I've been pleasantly surprise at how much swimming has helped ease my pain.
Walking. I know that this is counter-intuitive but walking is another form of exercise I enjoy. When I started, I could barely walk down to the end of my driveway and back. I actually got to the point that I could walk a mile. After my ankle injury, I had to stop walking for a while. Now, I'm back up to walking half a mile. Again, I take it easy and if I start feeling bone pain, I cut short my walks.


I've had to learn the hard way where the balance is between regular exercise pain and "I'm damaging myself" pain. If it's mild muscular pain, I'll push it a bit. If it's grinding bone pain or bone aches, I cut short whatever I'm doing and rest. If I'm just a little tired, I'll push through. If I'm really fatigued and have that heavy limb feeling, I stop and rest.

I've been amazed at how far I've come since I started my weight loss efforts in January of 2012. Even though I had a set back with that ankle injury, I'm so much more physically capable now. I can do routine things like dishes and hauling in bags of groceries and shopping and walking through airports. When I started, all of those things were very painful challenges.

The best advice I can give is treat yourself gently, whatever you choose to try.

I find the only thing that works for my legs now is the recumbent bike and I get bored so I basically do it for 10 minutes at the gym then I go do my strength training. I also do water aerobics but it's starting to hurt my knees all the thrashing around.

I use to be able to walk about a mile and a half at the local track but now my feet and knees hurt to much I can't
It's compounded witht the fact that I work part time standing on my feet for 5 hours. By the time I get home I can barely make it from my car to my house.

Keep this in mind. I was able to get a handicapped parking permit from my orthopedic doctor. This is how I approached it.
I went in there with a list of what I CAN'T DO like walking up the steps normal and even going to the bathroom without holding onto something. My employee parking was bit of a distance from my job and when I get off work It's become impossible to walk to I'm in such AGONY I don't even go to the store after work unless it's something major. Anyway I went in there with the Motor Vehicle form already printed out all he had to do was sign it and he did. It's been a true life saver. He had given me temporary ones before and they only last 6 months. My sister who also has knee problems and goes to the same doctor said she asked for one and he gave it to her and I said hmmm my knees are just as bad if not worse then hers let me see If he'll give it to me and he did.

2feelbetter
05-07-2013, 04:49 PM
I would HIGHLY recommend checking with your local Arthritis Foundation, Department on Aging and Disability Resources, United Way, doctor, Health Department, YMCA, or google to see if you can find a warm water exercise program (the warmer, the better to start). I started my exercise in such a program, and it was awesome. Not only did it allow me to exercise painlessly, just being in the water relieved much of my pain. It's a shame that every community doesn't have access to such programs, but they are much more common than most people realize - they tend to be hidden treasures - hidden in plain sight, but invisible because they're rarely advertised or promoted.

I take my water aerobics classes at the local Y and while they are advertised as warm water sometimes the water is freezing. We have this problem quite often. Lots of us wear tops on over our suits. The therometer is in the pool and it will say 85degrees but the air in the pool area can be cold. We even tell them sometimes to turn up the heat..... I'm on my way there tonight. I've been going for 2 years. Lately it's starting to hurt my knees even doing that so I'll take my weight or sometimes I use the belt in the the shallow end just so my aching feet and hurting knees don't touch the floor.

2feelbetter
05-07-2013, 06:16 PM
I
My former rheumatologist when I was living in Illinois actually gave me extra pain meds to use before exercising to help "get me started,"

I read this about an hour ago and thought to myself I'll try this. I took a pain med and I feel a lot better. .... Off to my water aerobics class. :swim:

SuperHeroTeacher
05-07-2013, 07:43 PM
Thanks for the input everyone! I completely forgot I posted this until I stumbled upon it again this afternoon.

I started exercising almost 2 weeks ago. Right now I'm just doing some non-weight bearing leg exercises (from physical therapy) to strengthen the muscles to support my knees, some core/ab work on the balance ball, and I've done 2 sessions of arm workouts - I googled PT exercises for shoulder pain. My shoulder is very unhappy with me since the second workout - so I'm resting that now.

Starting in June I will be babysitting my best friend's little girl 3 days a week. She has a pool so I'm going to incorporate some aqua cardio then.

I'm hoping that by the time August rolls around and I'm back to school, I will have lost enough weight and build enough strength to go back to the gym.

sparks17
06-25-2013, 05:57 PM
I found this article very encouraging!!

http://www.arthritistoday.org/about-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/rheumatoid-arthritis/daily-life/staying-active/high-intensity-exercise.php

Garnet2727
06-25-2013, 06:59 PM
I found this article very encouraging!!

http://www.arthritistoday.org/about-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/rheumatoid-arthritis/daily-life/staying-active/high-intensity-exercise.php

It is encouraging. I have to pay attention to this, though:

“If you have no damage to the weight-bearing joints, there would be no reason you couldn’t participate in high-intensity exercise, such as aerobics or jogging,” Dr. Zashin says. “If you have damage in the lower extremities, then no jogging or hard aerobics.

However, there is a lot of other stuff and can do.

QuilterInVA
06-27-2013, 12:59 PM
I do a water aerobics class for arthritics. I also do yoga. You have to keep moving as much as possible to the joints moving at all. Walk as far as you can, then start adding another minute the next time, etc. My doctor told me it was imperative that I exercise. It has helped with the pain a lot and I'm more flexible and move better.

AngieRR1022
08-17-2013, 07:26 PM
I have arthritis in my knees and spine. Due to the damage to my spine, a lot of movements are difficult for me. Walking is one thing I am seeing in a lot of these answers. I make it a point to walk 20-30 minutes a day, every day. I add in some strength training with SMALL weights (no more than 3 lbs) 4-5 days a week. I stay away from anything high-impact.

BigNomore71
04-14-2014, 08:38 PM
I just noticed this thread on OA of the knees and I thought I'll post my query here instead of starting a new thread on the same topic.

I've been having Osteo-Arthritis of my left knee at its earliest stages, which I understood to be so because it only pained last year when I tried to jog up and down the stairs -- other than that, it has been pain free.

Now, for the past 2 1/2 months, I am in a walking program for weight loss. I started slow but recently increased my walking speed to 3.5 mph which I walk for 45 min to cover a 2.5 mile distance. Suddenly, today upon completion of my walking, I got mild Arthritic pain on my left knee which completely freaked me out because I've incorporated walking successfully as my main form of exercise and I have 50+ pounds to lose.

So should I continue walking as usual from tomorrow or should I reconsider the walking program? I welcome suggestions. Thanks.

canadjineh
05-12-2014, 11:46 AM
Hi all: I have OA from car accidents when I was younger and Fitness/sport overuse as well - don't even ask, lol. Anyhow, I find that I get the best workout in the water - you get resistance - as much as you wish to handle - but you negate the effect of gravity - which is huge when we are larger persons. You don't have to get your head in the water, and I realize that not everyone is comfortable with the swimsuit or the shorts, bra, & Tshirt combo. It does work great though. Rehab post joint replacement, injury retraining or just getting fitter without hurting your joints. The water supports your weight and also cools you, and assists with range of motion as well.
I can't lift weights anymore because of my hands and other joints BUT I can do a muscle strengthening program in the water since I don't have to firmly grip something to work hard against the water's resistance.
Try to get to an arthritis in the water program - talk to your local pool operator and if you are really shy - sometimes hotels will open the pool to you for a small fee to do your water walking/running in private. There are good books out there as well as video to give you some ideas if you are doing it yourself. Try to take a couple classes with a certified trained aquatic arthritis fitness professional first to give you an idea of the exercises that might help your particular situation.

Liana :swim:

2feelbetter
05-13-2014, 11:38 AM
Hi all: I have OA from car accidents when I was younger and Fitness/sport overuse as well - don't even ask, lol. Anyhow, I find that I get the best workout in the water - you get resistance - as much as you wish to handle - but you negate the effect of gravity - which is huge when we are larger persons. You don't have to get your head in the water, and I realize that not everyone is comfortable with the swimsuit or the shorts, bra, & Tshirt combo. It does work great though. Rehab post joint replacement, injury retraining or just getting fitter without hurting your joints. The water supports your weight and also cools you, and assists with range of motion as well.
I can't lift weights anymore because of my hands and other joints BUT I can do a muscle strengthening program in the water since I don't have to firmly grip something to work hard against the water's resistance.
Try to get to an arthritis in the water program - talk to your local pool operator and if you are really shy - sometimes hotels will open the pool to you for a small fee to do your water walking/running in private. There are good books out there as well as video to give you some ideas if you are doing it yourself. Try to take a couple classes with a certified trained aquatic arthritis fitness professional first to give you an idea of the exercises that might help your particular situation.

Liana :swim:

I was taking the water aerobics classes in the evening then they cancelled them because there weren't enough students. There were only about 5-8 REGULARS during the past few years. Some of the members cancelled their membership because they really just wanted to water aerobics. I had started doing strength training so I wasnt going to cancel my membership. Then I found out I could still go in the pool at the same time and just workout by myself. I love it. I learned enough to workout for an hour by myself. The other day I went on youtubeto find more exercises.

I will say this my knees are very bad and need to be replaced so I workout in the deep end so I'm not jumping up and down touching the floor.. I will say this a lot of kicking and bending the knees WILL CAUSE PAIN if your knees are as bad as mine.

canadjineh
05-13-2014, 01:12 PM
I was taking the water aerobics classes in the evening then they cancelled them because there weren't enough students. There were only about 5-8 REGULARS during the past few years. Some of the members cancelled their membership because they really just wanted to water aerobics. I had started doing strength training so I wasnt going to cancel my membership. Then I found out I could still go in the pool at the same time and just workout by myself. I love it. I learned enough to workout for an hour by myself. The other day I went on youtubeto find more exercises.

I will say this my knees are very bad and need to be replaced so I workout in the deep end so I'm not jumping up and down touching the floor.. I will say this a lot of kicking and bending the knees WILL CAUSE PAIN if your knees are as bad as mine.

Too bad there aren't many aquafitters in your area! Some of our classes are so full, it is hard to get enough room to really push the water. You may have to concentrate more on x-country ski, scissors, & jacks in the deep end if the constant knee bending gets to you... Also don't forget you can up your heart rate and effort using your arms, too. If you focus on really pushing through the water with them - or if your wrists are OK, you can use webbed gloves or small floater dumbbells for more resistance, or raise your arms above your shoulder level while you cycle, ski, etc. kind of like this position: :cp:

You can also do 'washing machine' core twist & lifts holding slightly bent legs BUT remember the longer the lever the more force is exerted so watch your back muscles for that one.

Good for you on keeping it up tho! Maybe you can start a resurgence at your pool!

Liana

MemeToo
05-19-2014, 01:51 AM
Have any of you ever heard of Oxycise? It is an exercise you do while doing deep breathing and stretching. It is very easy to do. When I first started to do Oxycise, I thought there is no way this can do any good, it's too easy and doesn't hurt at all. But, to my surprise, I actually started losing inches and my clothes became loose. You can find the DVDs at http://www.oxycise.com

KatyP27
05-19-2014, 06:00 AM
My mom have knee and back problem, and swimming does help her, also exercises with body weight, she have online personal trainer web site insha.pe (workout via web cam). It is very immportant to strengthen back muscles all the time

mrs jazzy
08-04-2014, 11:28 AM
your quote was just the reminder I needed.
thks,mrs jazzy

jmh6251
08-17-2014, 01:44 PM
I have arthritis in my back and hips. I use the treadmill, it still hurts a little, but I am afraid to quit or i won't be able to do anything. I also power walk outside with hubby. I quit running as that wasn't doing much for my joints

eightiesbabe84
10-06-2014, 11:37 AM
:carrot: I love pool exercises but it's really humiliating to be out there in front of everyone with my stretch marked flabby legs (plus I have psoriasis too so yuk right?). Walking is good but my joints kill me after. I work the floor as a nurse and that seems to finish me off for the day most of the time. My friend and I will go to the gym after work (we have one in the hospital) and do the stationary bike thing and other none impact stuff. We are usually the only ones there. Just go out of your way to move as much as you can. I don't like to call it exercise, too intimidating, I call it "deliberate movement." good luck!

2feelbetter
10-06-2014, 07:59 PM
:carrot: I love pool exercises but it's really humiliating to be out there in front of everyone with my stretch marked flabby legs

I felt the same way because my legs look horrible. I wear swim shorts with my suit and it's just fine. When we stil had our aqua class the instructor wore long sleeve tops and long legging the whole time. We NEVER saw her legs or arms and some of the gear was very cute. She was small and very flexible she use to take piliates and them come teach a class she had alot of energy I wish I had some of it.

LOOK ONLINE at some of the swim sites. I got my suit and shorts from swim and sweat. I like them because the suits are chlorine resistant so they last longer.


:mad: The bad news. I'VE STOPPED exercise because I just hurt to much. I have a torn rotary cuff and I'm having surgery next week. I really wanted to get my knee replaced this fall but my surgeon said I have to have the shoulder done first because I'll need the strength for using a walker when I have my knee done:mad: so now I'm looking at another year before it gets done. I took a walk around my block today and I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. Lots of uneven pavement and hills. My hip started to hurt. SMH but I made it home. I was only gone about 15 minutes. Oh well I do intend to get back in the water at some point because I've completely slacked off and have gained weight.

Valmorel
10-07-2014, 02:01 AM
I had my ankle replaced because of OA. Best decision ever.

However, a few things I learnt before my last surgery, walking with nordic walking sticks made the walk MUCH easier on my ankle and also increases the calorie burn by 40%. It's win win, just make sure to get two, and buy them in a shop so they are the right height. Love those things, still use them now when I hike, even though I now walk pain-free.

Swimming as mentioned rocks.

I also used a water belt and did running sessions in the deep end so my foot never touched the ground.

I found that cycling was the easiest and most pain free way to move. I loved the freedom that getting on my bike gave me. When I was on lots of pain meds, had to always use a walking stick and rocker sole shoes and could hardly walk 200m I could get on my bike and ride slowly for even up to 40 miles sometimes. It was amazing. I highly recommend giving it a try.

In terms of strengthening, I found a person who does a combination of Active Release Therapy (ART) and pilates. Most amazing thing ever. I highly recommend ART as when you don't go through the correct range of motion the biomechanics don't work properly and some muscles/tendons/fascia get so tight that they end up causing more problems and pain. The ART releases them like nothing else I've found, and then the pilates helps to stabilise everything correctly. I did pilates 1 on 1 as I needed lots modified to things I could do, but also to what I needed to improve.

Anyway, best of luck to all of you! Sorry that was so long!

eightiesbabe84
10-07-2014, 01:03 PM
I would have to wear capri-type swimming pants to feel comfortable in front of people. never try to walk as exercise or do any type of impact exercise with messed up knees. I finally got an MRI to find out what was wrong with my knee after assuming I was just fat and my arthritis was bad for almost a year. I found out I had a torn meniscus and had to have surgery, I can't believe I worked on my feet suffering for a year before I did something.

canadjineh
10-07-2014, 01:29 PM
Valmorel: Wonderful ideas (speaking as an ex physio rehab professional with OA myself) - lots of options for those with arthritis. I use all the same exercises you do :D

ART is excellent! We can be so concentrated on the pain that it is hard to work through the correct range of motion and the shorter the range, the worse it gets, of course. Also Feldenkrais works well for gentle retraining of movement patterns and pain reduction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feldenkrais_Method
We used it a fair bit with clients with acquired brain injuries and accompanying physical movement issues due to soft tissue injuries (mainly car accidents and workplace accidents). I use it for my own OA to help keep myself out of degenerative movement patterns.

Liana