NRAS
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exercise

I want to go swimming but have some swelling and pain in elbows and knees. Will swimming make it worse or is it ok to exercise a little? Thanks maywing

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Hi there, I was told by my RA doctor that's exercise is one of the best things you can do, just don't over do it but movement really helps, have a go and see how you feel. xxx

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I can recommend swimming, helps the joints. Gentle movements first. Best if the water isn't too cold. Enjoy!!! M x

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Hello, yes swimming is fine :) Only avoid it if you're in the middle of a bad flare and have very inflamed joints. When my RA was active, I went for a swim twice and felt much better afterwards. I wish I did that more back then! Best of luck, Christine x

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Hiya ,I was like you when I started swimming again, I think it feels odd to want to inflict more pain on your body ...BUT I did it and a few lengths a week really helped its important to build up the muscle around the joints to give them some protection and it's so low impact, even just treading water is good . I love going now met loads of people and just got back from my mile swim this morning 65 lengths !!! So - good luck you don't have to do a mile lol :) anything helps. I'm thinking of doing a 2 mile sponsor swim for NRAS ...ONLY thinking ;) - Claire x

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Hi maywing

There are some articles about exercise and RA on the NRAS website, on this one it specifically mentions swimming nras.org.uk/exercise-rheuma... From my experience of being out and about and meeting people living with RA, I have heard on numerous occasions that swimming has been beneficial as it is low impact on your joints, especially if you have access to a hydrotherapy pool locally. Your rheumatology unit may possibly be able to point you in the direction of one?

Hope that helps.

Kind regards

Kim

Volunteer Network Coordinator

NRAS

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Tried to open this page, but it has 'moved'. Anne

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Hi Anne

My apologies, it could have been caused by the new website going live. I've tested the link and this one should work nras.org.uk/exercise-rheuma... If you are still not getting through, this is the path from the home page of the website:

- Hover over 'About RA' and select 'Living with RA

- Then click on 'Lifestyle'

- Then click on 'Exercise'

- From here you can select the article you want to read. The one I specifically mentioned was the one called 'Exercise & Rheumatoid Arthritis' by Cathy Cameron.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Kim

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Swimming is wonderful exercise. I have psoriatic arthritis but the one rheumy I had who thought I had RA strongly recommended swimming. I didn't need encouragement as I've been swimming regularly for many years & nothing's going to stop me. Occasionally I find it a bit boring just doing lengths and where I live getting to a pool requires a long-ish drive, but the pay-off makes it well worthwhile. Strengthening the muscles that support joints is vital, I see exercise in general as every bit as important as the drugs. Occasional exercise is good, regular exercise is even better for building muscle and keeping it. On the rare occasions when I do hurt too much to swim properly I just swim a bit, float around, swim some more ..... Go for it maywing.

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Postle , I agree swimming can get a little boring somtimes ,but my hubbie bought me completely waterproof headphones that you down load music on to for my birthday! They are amazing just don't download the 'Jaws' theme tune :) -Claire

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I might just give that a go. Thanks Claire!

('Jaws' might make me swim a bit faster though ..... )

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I use to go swimming with my Nras group every Monday morning. I had to stop because of work. My only advise is to keep your hands opened and keep your hands loose and supple when you swim, otherwise you might get pain in most hands!

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hi all, I am an advocate of all gentle exercise, I haave had r/a since I was 30 years old and I am now 75 years, both swimming and cycling (knees permitting) I firmly believe this has kept me out of the wheelchair, although I can now no longer cycle, and no good for ordinary swimming pools ( can't get in or out) I still am glad I did these activity's for some years, so keep smiling and trying, never let this thing beat you even if at times you feel down. all the best to all. bluetit33

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I would love to be able to go swimming for my RA but I have posterior tibial tendon dysfunction in both feet and I can't swim, it's too painful. I used to do aqua aerobics but had to give it up.

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