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Anybody with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Old 05-22-2006, 10:26 AM   #1
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Default Anybody with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

I have RA and was wondering if anyone here also does. I really want to do some working out (surely there's more I can do than water aerobics!) some, and was hoping to find someone with the same problem to give me some tips.
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:35 PM   #2
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My aunt has it severely and my mum has the beginnings of it mildly I think. How bad is yours?
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:23 PM   #3
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oohh, I do I do!!! Well, I'm sorry to tell you when I'm having a flare-up, I just can't exercise, heck I can barely walk (I was on crutches during my last flare-up). I know since losing a lot of weight, my RA episodes have lessened even more. It has gotten better since I've gotten older but having strong muscles and joints help it out (I think). I only have flare-ups now 3 or 4 times a year. But when I was younger (when I was growing) I was in daily severe pain that led me to a drug dependency at the age of 11. But you didn't ask about my history, did you? Anyway, I don't know the severity of your RA, but when mine flares up, I can't even think about exercising. I'm in the most excruciating, debilitating pain that NO drugs (except Vioxx) can touch. I can't sleep, I only can lay around and cry. The pain pretty much abolishes my appetite, so I don't worry about exercising anyway.

But my advice to you is to exercise like a demon when you are not in pain to strengthen up those bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

But where to you have it anyway? I have it in my right knee. I'll try to give you some other exercise options if you tell me more about your RA (the severity and location).
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:19 PM   #4
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I have it! I was diagnosed in January of 2005. I'm on methotrexate and naproxyn right now. I just got off prednisone in April. I still have all the weight that I gained with that.

I try to walk as much as I can. During a flare that amounts to trips from the sofa to the bathroom On good days I try to walk about 3 miles. Sometimes I can ride my bike, it's an old fashioned cruiser and easy on the joints. I got the Arthritis Foundations exercise video and it's super easy and very helpful during bad days. I make sure and stretch every day and I'm trying to add a little light weight lifting into my workouts. My rheumy said to do 3 things:
1. cardio
2. resistance
3. stretching

I'm trying to incorporate all three, some days I can, some I can not.
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:00 PM   #5
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I have it all over my body. I have it bad in my back and knees. I want to excercise but I can't. Even just walking hurts bad. On top of all that I have High Blood Pressure and the doctor won't let me do much more than walk. I love water aerobics but I can't get up and down in the pool easy enough. I feel like I'm hopeless. But I know that if I would lose weight I would be so much better. Is there anything I can do
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel67
I have RA and was wondering if anyone here also does. I really want to do some working out (surely there's more I can do than water aerobics!) some, and was hoping to find someone with the same problem to give me some tips.
Hi Mel! I have rheumatic arthritis too . I dont know how bad yours is but mine became so painful I couldn't live with it anymore. I spent a few days in a specialized clinic for arthritis, JD Healthcare center, I dont know if you've heard about it...I was treated there until I could live nearly normally i.e. I wasn't struck down with pain and paralyzed most of the time. I had to go there once in a while for check ups and more treatment but now I feel like I can finally live like a normal person. The only good advice I could give you is to see a doctor. Advice wont kill you nor make it worse but if you let it untreated it might become worse than you think. You take care now! Ciao
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Old 10-09-2006, 07:13 AM   #7
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Hi, I too have RA - I'm new here and would like to know what obstacles I might run into when I start excercising..Also have two knee replacements...
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Old 10-30-2006, 05:08 PM   #8
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Hello , I too have RA , it's in my wrists and hands and wow my right knee has an inflamitory arthritis in that , it is swollen right now 2 days after stopping a week long dose of steriod . I have been looking at many different options to take. I absolutly do not want to take any of the meds my doc suggested , he told me to research them first and all the ones that I looked into have a severe side effect on the lungs. I battled and conquered a lung disease in 2003/2004 and I just can't bring myself to not being able to breath again. So I have started Glocosomine MSM and I have relafin and a darvaset for really bad days I still try and excersise as much as I can but during a flare up it is all I can do to take myself to the bathroom with out the use of the cane. I have lost 51 pounds so far and I feel like I am being kicked back again from this disease, I was diagnosed this year with and the fact that I feel in my mind I am too dang young!! anyway I hope for advice on what to do with it and what can I expect in the future. Take care now.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:40 AM   #9
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Hi, I too have RA and two artificial knees. I was on Plaquenil for years. About four years ago, I was able to go off that. I found the pool exercises helpful but I go to a pool at a Rahab center which has steps into the heated water (sometimes 90 plus degrees which really helps stiff joints). Also it's not a "class" - we exercise independently so you can be as aerobic as it pleases you but you can do what helps your specific muscles, joints most as well. Before that I found the Arthritis Foundation tapes helpful too. I now take Tai Chi based exercises at a Sr. Citizen place (I'm 69) and have recently been able to get back to walking. For many years I subscribed to the Arthritis Foundation magazine and also took their self-help course.

I was on prednisone almost a year ago for a longer time than usual. This was because I needed to care for my DH and it involved a LOT of physical activity and did in my arthritis control in many ways. I'm working my way back from all that but have just done me in with too much go-go for the recent holiday. I think learning our limits is so important but I've not truly learned that lesson yet or I wouldn't be hurting as I am right now.

However, a warm shower and activity will help. I now am taking Clinoril for inflammation, MSM, vitamins, etc. I lost 45 lbs or so a few years ago, have mostly maintained with the usual ups and downs. I need to lose much more (another 50 would be nice).

RA is so individual, what works for one doesn't always work for another but I tried most things that seemed reasonable. It took me years to understand that I couldn't be down on me when I couldn't do things, that with rest, meds, healthy eating and small movements, I was able to do more long term than when I would push myself (again, as I did over the holiday). This was esp. true when I first was diagnosed and was only in my 40s and could push through a lot (and sometimes felt I had to). Understanding was hard to come by as I LOOKED healthy and all these ads where people take an over-the-counter pill and can then do EVERYTHING give friends/family the idea you're a malingerer. DH was always good but it was a long time until I got even him educated.

Each day I start over - usually with good reason. Be kind to yourself during flares. I also did hypnosis/meditation tapes to learn how to deal with the worst days. And would sometimes find things to do (like Christmas cards ) that needed to be done anyway and that I could do sitting down and resting. Even a little accomplishment counted and let my better times more free for things I couldn't do otherwise.

I wish you so well - it is a lot to deal with. The more you can learn and the more you try (with your doctor's approval where that applies), the more "control" you will feel. I've fortunately been able to "tame" the beast a little for now and have not had to go to any of the newer drugs but for many they've been a big help.

I do face foot surgery in March (second foot) to try to undo some damage so I can get back to more walking. So right now, I'm working on getting me in the best shape I can be for that. Note I said "working on", not always succeeding but today's a new day. Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel67 View Post
I have RA and was wondering if anyone here also does. I really want to do some working out (surely there's more I can do than water aerobics!) some, and was hoping to find someone with the same problem to give me some tips.
I have recently been diagnosed with RA. My dr says it's "severe" and I too am looking for exercise routines that I can manage with RA. I have access to a pool and try to swim 2-3 times a week but that doesn't seem to be doing anything for weight loss, at least not yet. I have access to an exercise bike that I plan on introducing this body to when I return home after the holidays. I'm not sure how much exercise is too much at this point, and at the same time, how much is effective.
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Old 01-01-2007, 03:41 PM   #11
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Hi RA-ers! I have scleroderma and the associated joint problems. Talk to your doc about when you can exercise - she may say not to if you're in the middle of a bad flare. When she thinks you're ready, ask for referral to a physical therapist. The stretching and exercises they teach are a great beginning to getting more active. Towards the end of my most recent flare I had 3 sessions with PTs to get me going and now am walking in the summer and using an elliptical trainer inside in the cold, as well as some light strength training. Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:50 PM   #12
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Joins the crowd with RA. In the middle of a flare right now and so, so frustrated.
I can't unsnap my bra, let alone exercise. It's good to be in a place where people understand. Even "gentle walking" isn't always an option for me.

I'm definitely going to check out the Arthritis Foundation videos. I have a new grandaughter who's just become mobile and I want to be able to keep up with her. I'm too young to have to live like this. The big 4-0 is staring me in the face, and I feel like if I don't get a handle on my weight soon, it's just going to be too late.

Kim
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:46 PM   #13
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I'm also a RA patient. I've had it since 1999. It's frustrating to be in the prime of my life and getting knocked down by what everyone assumes is an older persons' disease. I was diagnosed at 28. Anyhow, I'm taking methotrexate and tylenol when I need to. I just got done with some flare ups that wouldn't go away and was on a prednisone taper for 20 days. I did go through a VERY nasty period where I was almost bedridden and hardly able to walk because of the sulfasalazine I was on. I had to go completely off meds until my liver count when down to normal before they could start me on methotrexate. I don't EVER want to go through that again. Felt like every bone in my body was broken. I hurt so bad and was crying constantly.
Happy to say that I'm going on my 4th yr of methotrexate and doing fine. I don't care what anyone says, having RA is scary. Before I got diagnosed I was petrified.

I don't do too bad with exercise. The more I do it, the better I feel and the less flare ups I have. Getting your weight down also makes a difference for some odd reason. It does help me keep up with my kiddos. I have a 7, 4 and 13 yr old. All girls!!!! While pregnant with the last one, I never had any flare ups or aches and pains, but afterwards...holy cow!!! My rheumatologist recommends not having any more children.

My mother was diagnosed with RA 2 yrs ago, so I know where I probably got it from.

Anyhow, I do exercise tapes and walk on the treadmill. I did weights at the gym without little consequence but my membership expired now. Depending on your stage of RA, there is so much you can do. I'm at a moderate stage, my mother is more advanced...but she enjoys walking. Water aerobics is an excellent way to exercise.

Okay...done with the book. We should start up a thread for RA people....

Christina
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:47 PM   #14
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I just wanted to add that with RA, stay on top of things. My mom went for a couple of years just taking anti-inflammatories only and she has a ton of joint damage. Anti-inflammatories only help with the pain. Even if you don't hurt while taking Tylenol, Advil, Relafin, etc, without the methotrexate, enbrel, humira, etc, the damage to your body is still happening.

I also would recommend visiting the Arthritis Foundations website. It is a wealth of information. I ordered two different books from them for RA and they are chocked full of info.

I had my visit with the rheumy today and had to do more bloodwork. My CRP is up and so he wanted to recheck it. I might get moved up to enbrel or humira. We'll see.... I'm not sure if my checkbook is ready for that yet. Thank God for insurance!

Christina
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:05 PM   #15
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What is a person supposed to do that has had a lung disease ??? those drugs for RA can cause scarring in my lungs and I really really hated not being able to breath and only move 5 feet because I had no air ... not saying I don't move much slower today because I have RA , but I am not out of breath , just lots of pain instead . and I am still wondering what caused me to get this ?? ok Sorry , sounds like I was whining.
take care , higherfaith
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