Article about exercise and arthritis in today's Scottish Daily Express

This caught my eye while I was shopping today so I bought it. It's quite a long article and although mostly referring to OA - the last paragraph says "Rheumatoid Arthritis is more severe but less common.." and goes on to explain briefly how the body's immune system attacks the joints with RA. Nothing most of us here don't know of course but it's always good to see it mentioned in the media. One rheumatologist says that people with arthritis get it into their heads that they may be damaging their joints if they exercise them when they are painful but he says you need to push on through the pain barrier where possible because exercise has been proven to relieve some of the pain in the long run. This is very much in keeping with my own experience but I'm sure there must be a cut off point where it could do more harm than good. I note that the exercise most favoured is Pilates followed by tai chi so gentle exercise is probably the way to go - initially anyway.

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  • all the articles ive read on exercise , does seem to favour pilates ,, i did once look into this n found a small exercise group doing pilates on weds nignts ,, in a local village hall .. as always the case ,, this group was all ladys . and i just didnt ave the bottle to join .. :(

    its also a question ive asked my rheumy , i never get a straight answer tho , its always a case , lets just wait and see your next results / x rays .. then we`ll see ..

    i find ,, the best way is to listen to your body ,, it normally does tell you if your over doing things .. if you exercise and feel worse ,, cut down .. if you exercise and feel better .. keep going .. its all about finding the balance i guess ...

  • Thanks for sharing this Tilda. I've just had a look over my gym timetable and they run Pilates classes most days and Tai Chi once a week :-) I've decided to be brave and book in when I start in December. Have you ever tried aqua aerobics? I was thinking that may not be too stressful.

    Paula x

  • Hi Paula I have been to aqua-aerobics and found that fairly good although if you have problems with your shoulders you may need to adapt some of the exercises. I had to as I struggle to get my arms above level with my shoulders. The trainer was welcome of any disabilities people mey have and the pool was very welcoming to people with mobility problems in access to the bath although they had ladders they also had stone steps which were useful as I know I could not have pulled myself up the ordinary ladder. They also had a hoist and staff available to assist wheelchair users to access so it is worth looking around to find the right place

    cris xx

  • I also read this in the Daily Express yesterday, today I read my Peoples Friend and they were advocating 'Move it or Lose it' DVD's, you can sit or stand doing these. They come in three stages and with a forth coming out in December. On looking at the website these appear to be what I require at the moment, so have ordered the box set, as the strength in my legs are not what they were and I want to have more. I am aiming to get rid of the walking stick/crutch before attempting anything else.

  • Well I've just bailed out of tai chi because the class meets once a week on Wednesday mornings. Between my choir and my own exercise regime on the Nintendo wii fit and walking the dog daily plus a weekly Popmobility class I just can't afford the time for 2 hours of tai chi - especially on my post MTX day when I usually feel more tired and chilled and freeze up doing all that slow motion stuff. But my class is taken by a man and there are three men in the class so it would at least tick your boxes Andy. Bit of a way to come for tai chi though?!)

    I do feel that exercise has been absolutely central to my present state of remission though. It was definitely a case of "use it or lose it" for me. However I find my shoulders and arms really ache a lot if I do strenuous stuff with them. With this in mind I've started using weights while doing step aerobics on my wii. I do this for ten minutes daily now. I don't find it makes me unduly stiff or pained afterwards but equally I don't really feel my upper body is as strong or as pain free as my lower body and during the Popmobility I dread anything involving holding my arms in the air for any length of time. Not sure if this is RA or just that I haven't pushed my upper body enough yet though?

    A last thought. I hate swimming - get so bored and hate people seeing me in a costume too - I think its a hangover from my old eczema days when the chlorine would drive it mad. But when I was in Tuscany and braved the pool the once (see my old blog photo for evidence!) my friend advised me to pull myself forward using only my arms and not kicking at all. She said this is brilliant for building upper body strength and shoulder and arm muscles. So if you're into swimming you should maybe try that as a way of pushing through the pain barrier and improving upper body strength? TT x

  • is their any eye candy that go ?? (lol)

  • For me or for you?! There's no female eye candy apart from me of course... Hahahaha now that's got me laughing through my foul tasting mouth (just brushed teeth for 2nd time this morning?!) - I need mouth candy not eye candy Andy but you're welcome to come to my tai chi class and check us all out?! Txxx

  • yes i did mean , apart from you of course .. thats what i ment ,, i just forget to say it .. :)

    andy x

  • I go swimming and the relief when I'm in the water and for several hours after is wonderful. I also do Pilates and again that really helps me.

  • Hi

    I started going swimming at the end of March and I now swim 4 to 5 times a week. I feel so much better in myself for doing the regular exrercise. I used to love walking but I can't do the distances now as my feet become very painful.

  • im with freesia on this swimming is good i go 3 times a week and dont over do it now cos this is where it all happened from

    BUT DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO BREAST STROKE IT IS REALY BAD FOR YOUR KNEES AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT SOME PEOPLE WITH THEIR HEDS BENT BACK SO AS NOT TO GET IT UNDER THE WATER AND TAKE A BREATH THEN BACK UNDER THE WATER CAN BE VERRY BAD FOR YOU.

    SO ITS CRAW OR BACK STROKE AND PUSH YOURSELF THROUGH THE WATER WITH YOUR QUADS ONLY ARMS TPO THE SIDE MAKING YOU BOYANT.

    happy swimming dont forget you lose a 3rd of you body weight in water walking up and down in the 3 ft deep end

    regards john

  • Thanks for this John - I don't swim much at all because I don't like chlorine and don't like submerging my head - even with goggles. The Nintendo Wii is my thing though! Tilda

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