My First Blog

Hi everyone, I have had RA for about one year now and am on MTX and Hydroxychloroquine plus folic acid. I have it mainly in my feet and hands and wrists. The tablets seem to work very well, although I hate taking tablets and prefer natural alternatives. I have just discovered this site and I think it is great how you all help each other. Just reading with interest the excercise article as I have recently been going to the gym to improve my fitness and it seemed to bring on a flare up in my feet and I found it very difficult to walk for a couple of days. Does anyone think I should continue with the gym, perhaps not using the cross trainer or walking machine. Would cycling be ok. Has excercising brought on a flare up for anyone else ?

18 Replies

  • Wendy if your at the gym ask the staff there and see what they say. Welcome to our lovely group of people. We are there for each other when times are good or bad. A nicer bunch of people you would ever are on here.

    Sylvi. xxx

  • Hi Wendy,

    Like you I too have had RA for about a year and am on the same meds as you which have been a great hlep. My diagnosis came a short while after I had started running regularly and I have had to put a stop to it althoughI do hope to restart at some point. I found that my feet really suffered after running and they do say that high impact activity is not good for those who suffer with joint problems. Having said that I also go to the gym but like Sylvi I would recommend speaking to the staff there who will be able to advise on the best equipment to use and what exercises to follow. Swimming is supposed to be really good and I would also highly recommend Pilates. Walking my dog also keeps me fit! Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    Mags x

  • hi wendywoo (just love saying that)

    Have you got a physio on your rheummy team - they could give you a good idea what you could go or not do. Mine thought cycling on a stationery bike would be ok. He was really keen on me doing swimming or water aerobics. I would love to get back to my walking but my knees are bu****ed. I am diagnosed one year as well - on arava.

  • Hi Mads, glad you like the name. I was not told whether physio was available, but the medication kicked in after about 8 weeks and I don't think I need it, Just my feet hurt mainly, but after I get walking, it wears off mostly. I will try cycling at the gym as its not hard impact like the tread machine, which I loved as I like walking fast. Will get into swimming in March when baths open. Sorry about your knees, it has not crept up that far yet, don't really know how far RA goes, suppose everybody is different, and the meds keep it at bay. Strange that our bodies turn on themselves like this, especially as I have tried to look after the flippin thing all my life.

  • Hi Wendy

    Welcome to the site.

    I am also on the same meds as yourself + step down steroids, that I was given to tide me over until the mtx started to work. I have had ra for 4 months.

    I find that I cannot do any exercise at the mo, except for some walking as i experience joint pain, besides my disease is as yet not in control and I am still learning the art of pacing. I am hopeful that by the spring I will be in a better place and maybe I can go back to my wii fit, that I got for my last birthday.

    I hope you enjoy the site and blogging - looking forward to reading your blogs.

    Take care Sci x

  • Welcome Wendywoo! (it's a very satisfying name to say I agree Mads). Yes Sci Wii Fits are fab - my son is playing on the new Fit Plus we bought for us all to use today. But go for the FIT programme rather than the Wii Sports one because my physio and others have said to avoid doing sporty anything involving hand joints, which rules out tennis (was my favourite), ping pong and golf to name but a few.

    I think the MTX is working for me too although it's early days at 8 weeks tomorrow. My wrists still ache and are a bit stiff and fingers too but I think that will take a while and maybe are not a sign that RA is still active either. Physio is doing really good things for me too and that in turn is making me feel more confident physically so that I'm looking better than I did this time a year ago - when it all kicked off or so I'm told. Take care and keep blogging Wendy. TildaT x

  • This programme you're using Tilda, do you have to have a nintendo to use it? XX

  • Yes you have to splash out on the basic portal first. We got ours with the wobble board and then got the FIT programme later on. We bought Fit Plus yesterday to give me more to mess about on and it's really good as it counts calories I have burnt in a session (shockingly few!).

    It is quite an outlay initially but not as much as a gymn would charge if you used one all the time so probably pays dividends over a few months/ a year? We got ours for a son for Xmas but ironically it's me that uses it now. Makes up for the dog who was the boys very forceful and relentless idea but now he is ours and we walk and feed him with very little help from teens who implored for him! Your grandson would love it when he visits? Tilda x

  • Ps special offers on Nintendo Wiis at Tesco just now

  • I'll have to do some thinking and negotiating as we've just splashed out on a new internet ready telly at John L. I asked the man in the electrics department how he felt about JL being the model for running the country and he said it was cool as long as he could do it from his living room sofa!

    But seriously, any exercise is good isn't it. XX

  • Absolutely - I swear by exercise - especially when the RA is in hibernation from certain parts of the body. TTx

  • Hi Wendy,

    I have pain in the same areas as you and am taking roughly the same meds. (also recently diagnosed with RA)

    I struggle to be on my feet alot or walk. I find that swimming helps loads as there's no pressure on your joints and you can stretch them. My pool also has a jacuzzi which is heaven!

    I've been swimming 60 lengths twice a week prior to RA, but am finding now I really have to pace myself - can't do loads and have to rest every couple of lengths. Beware of the breast stroke if you have poorly knees like me as it's the angle that gets them.

    Your physio will be able to guide you.

    Big hugs

    Samcat XX

  • Hi Samcat, Thanks for replying. Yes it is painful in the feet area but the meds help a lot. I don't like to stand for too long either. Wow 60 lengths of the pool is fantastic, you must be a good swimmer, I only learnt a few years ago and probably don't swim properly, but it does get your lungs and heart working well which is a very good thing. We have to be grateful I suppose that we can still do the things we like, albeit not as good as before. I dog groom from home but now only take one dog a day as anymore is too bad for my feet, but at least I still can do it.

    Best wishes and thanks, Wendywoo

  • welcome to the site. I only joined a week ago and the warmth and advice I have had is wonderful

    I find swimming really helpful togther with walking when my knee and hip are not so painful

    Slow and regular exercise is the key. I work in an office so by the weekend I am as stiff as a board.

    Try taking advice from the hospital, they can point you in the right direct

    Keep blogging xxx

  • Welcome to the site.. most gyms have qualifed staff, so tell them your limitations and see if the can suggest a suitable program/ exercise class, I love tai chi ,myself its v gentle and v good for stress too xx

  • When I first got RA I couldn't do anything (ended up not even being able to get out of bed). As the meds kicked in I've slowly been able to do more and more, and now nearly normal most of the time. But the main difference I've found from pre-RA days is that if I overdo things too much then I really pay for it, and bits of me protest for ages. It used to be that could have a heavy day and would bounce back pretty quickly. Well there's no bounce left! So I've learnt to watch the signs & stop in time. If I do then usually no problem with exercise.

  • Hi everyone who has replied to my first blog. Thank you all so much, it brought a tear to my eye to read all your comments which were so, so, so, helpful. Sometimes you feel you are on your own with this thing, but not at all, thank you all for your kind advice. I am going to pilates class this evening for the second time, that is fine for me and I like it as it strengthens my core muscles and I might get a flatter stomach ha.ha. I think also that cycling would be fine at the gym and swimming is good, but I live near the coast in a tiny village and the only baths open in March, so I will have to wait. I also must invest in a good pair of comfy walking shoes as I do dog boarding on a one to one basis and am always walking someone's doggy, bless them. Will try Hotter, hopefully they do them on line, with a few discounts as they are a bit pricey. Thanks to you all, will writ again soon.

  • Swimming is good, but its worth getting an individual lesson or two to be sure you do it properly. ANd tai chi or something similar is good to keep you supple. Anything low impact to avoid hurting your ankles/ knees.

    Keep well CXX

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