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heatmiser
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 11/4/2005 6:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
 
I've got crohn's related arthritis and I find that it's really difficult to exercise without hurting myself.  But I keep reading that exercise if supposed to be helpful for arthritis.  Do any of you find that exercise helps, and if so, what kind of exercise do you do? 
 
Thanks!
Lynne


Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 11/4/2005 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lynne -

I have Psoriatic Arthritis... and as much as it hurts at first.... exercise is good for you... you've got to build up the muscles around your joints to help protect them. When I work out, I use the elliptical machine at the gym or the stationary bike... I also do Pilates and Yoga... stretching is very good for you... But only you knows your body, so don't over do it.. and good luck! - Duck
Diagnosed January 2005 - Psoriatic Arthritis/Dactylitis/Spondylitis 
   -Currently taking 50mg shot weekly of Enbrel
 
Diagnosed May 1998 - Graves Disease
   -Complete Thyroidectomy September 1998 - While 11 weeks pregnant
 
Other Complications - GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 11/4/2005 8:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Dear Lynne,

Oh what we have in common!  Like yourself I have CD.  But the RA I've been dealing with longer.  The joint pain is very very severe, and the CD arthritis only flares up the RA (it's the icing on the cake right?)

I don't know what your physical capabilities are, but I'm no SUPER DUCKY! (you go girl)...but I do know that exercise is CRUCIAL.

Now, I can not go to the gym...or a matter a fact do too much of anything for too long!  The exercise I suggest for those in very bad pain with joint problems are exercises that promote maintenance of the joints.  Which are very simple.  No marathons or power lifting! 

Take first in consideration that a little goes a long way, and also take note as to when you're body is at the best.  Like maybe not first thing in the morning, but say right after dinner or something; a walk is excellent for the bones and joints and say a light streatch afterwards and range of motion exercises (shoulder rolls, neck, hips, ankles).

That's pretty much all I do.  Walking whenever I can, for as long as I can, when I feel I can do it.

When we read about exercise being good for arthritis, they're mainly focusing on 2 things: keeping weight under control (the less one weighs, the easier it is for the joints) and to prevent contraction of joints and limited range of motion.

I know, "I feel so crappy and can barely get through the day...how can they want me to exercise??!!"  I feel that the simple things are great at maintaning the joints, and should you feel great sometime...go all out!!  Weight bearing exercise will further help the ligaments and support the joints (can start out with 2 pound hand weights).

Personally, I've some bad mobiltiy problems some days; and on those bad days, I count doing the laundry as exercise, playing with the cats too counts.  And I don't beat myself up about it.  And when I get a good day, I walk an extra few blocks.

Depending on you own limitations and endurance, exercise of any sort, even a little a day...will benefit arthritis and prevent complications.

What are you doing now to keep flexibility?  Are you able to walk and get about alright?

The best to you!!

Erin 


erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 11/4/2005 8:06 PM (GMT -7)   
oh, and Ducky...pilates and yoga are great! not to mention the mental boost you get from them too. it helps with pain by releasing those endorphins.
i myself, am hoping to get a walk in in the morning. joint pain has been really bad this week and haven't been out.
keep up the good work

heatmiser
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 11/6/2005 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the replies everyone.  This is so frustrating for me because I haven't figured out how much I can tolerate yet.  Last winter I was trying some easy low impact aerobic videos and that seemed to bring on hip and knee pain that I had never had before.  Usually it's my feet or ankles, back, and fingers.  So I stopped exercising until it got under control.  Then I decided to just walk.  I didn't go at a fast pace, but I guess it was too much.  I did a two mile walk, then a 3 mile walk the next day, skipped a day, then did another 3 miles.  At the time it didn't seem too hard, but I ended up with pretty bad pain in my large toe joint and had to stop for awhile to let it heal.  Then I tried just a few blocks around my neighborhood just until I felt even a little pain.  But it hardly felt like it was worth it and I didn't stay very consistent.  Part of the problem is that I wake up with back pain, and my feet are really stiff and sore after sleeping or being off of them for awhile.  I'm hoping I can maybe build up to a level of exercise that will be helpful, not just for my arthritis but for high blood pressure and weight loss.  It just seems that every time I've tried I end up making matters worse.  I'm going to give it another shot though.  I'm starting to work on stretching, and my daughter is taking a medical occupations class and had to learn range of motion exercises so I'll ask her to teach me.  A friend of mine just heard about a place where we can walk indoors a couple of mornings each week so I'm going to give that a try. 

How often do you exercise?  Is building up to every day a reasonable goal with arthritis? 

Thanks again for your help.


Lynne


Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 11/6/2005 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Lynne -

I used to go to the gym everyday. I haven't been in a couple weeks 'cause I've been ill, but am going back this week. I know riding a bike is supposed to be really good for your knees, but when I do it, it makes my knees hurt. The elliptical machine is good for an all over body workout, but I've noticed that my toes do go numb if I'm on it for too long. I have worked with an exercise physiologist and she said that really the best things for us is stretching, pilates and yoga... Those are all low/no impact, which is good for our aching joints... I bought some pilate DVDs and I try to do those at home. Take it slow though, if you try too much at first, you'll throw your body into shock and end up hurting yourself. Try with 2 - 3 times a week... take a day off in between your exercise routines, then as you start to get stronger, try to increase the intervals to 3 - 4 times a week... but don't push yourself to the point of injury... good luck to you - Duck
Diagnosed January 2005 - Psoriatic Arthritis/Dactylitis/Spondylitis 
   -Currently taking 50mg shot weekly of Enbrel
 
Diagnosed May 1998 - Graves Disease
   -Complete Thyroidectomy September 1998 - While 11 weeks pregnant
 
Other Complications - GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia

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