Can I exercise?

Yesterday instead of doing my 10 minute stretch with my DVD I opted for the 10 minute of strengthening. It was all floor based standing. No weights or resistance. I partly did the easiest level. Within 2 hours my ribs were all tender like they start when I am going to have a flare. Also I was emotionally "off" all afternoon. What does this all mean and what do I do. Is that a warning not to exercise. I am supposed to start physical therapy on Thursday for my shoulder and I am wondering how that will go as well. Is it the repetitions that cause problems. I am concerned about losing muscle strength. Thanks for this wonderful forum. My ribs are somewhat better this am.

8 Replies

  • Hi bunnymom,

    Yes you can exercise, and should do, if you can, but it needs to be gentle - your original stretching sounds ideal. It's probably the repetitive natural of your strengthening that too much, plus you may have used different muscles which is why they are reacting.

    If it were me, I'd continue your usual exercises, and maybe add in the strengthening ones a little at a time. And remember to rest afterwards!

    As for your therapy, just make sure the Physio knows you are on Pred, she/he should be aware that it's needs to be treated gently.

    Hope it helps, I'm off later this afternoon for treatment on my back- not GCA related, but long term problem which raises its ugly head occasionally. There always seems to be something!

  • Thank you Dorset Lady. My slow just keeps getting slower! Hope you have a good appointment today.

  • I have an ongoing disagreement with someone on another forum - because he can do pretty high level exercise cycling and lifting weights he tells everyone else they can. I always add in a gentle "careful with reps" and he gets quite narky!

    No, it isn't a sign not to exercise. It is a reminder that if you introduce something new to start with just a couple of minutes and build up VERY slowly providing you don't have any adverse effects. If you do - even slower or wait a bit before trying it again. I'd stick with the stretches and add 2 mins of the other for a few days, then 3 mins and so on. If it works, fine, if it doesn't, don't do it or only do what you feel good with.

    As DL says - do be sure to remind the physio you have PMR and are on pred and don't allow them to make you do too many reps of anything that feels hard work straight off. Someone had problems with a physio who claimed they knew all about PMR and then repeatedly asked "Why are you on pred?" DUH!!!!

  • Thank you PMR Pro for the guidelines. I plan to be very cautious with this new physio and hope I get the help I need. I see a rheum for the first time next month and plan to greet him with questions and info that I have gathered from you all.

  • Hi bunnymom,

    I had the same concerns, about losing muscle strength, but did nothing without asking the physical therapist. They are great at showing you how to move without hurting yourself. They had me do range of motion exercises for about 2 months before I could do strengthening exercises and even then I was lifting 1 lb. weights. They also told me not to overdo it. Of course I always over did it because this all seemed like baby steps to me and I was so eager to get back to normal... but I would be in pain the next day. You will get to the point where you will get your strength back but it will take time, so for the time being be gentle on yourself.

  • Thanks that is so encouraging.

  • Hi Bunnymom

    The advice that you have already received is exactly right - you have to respond to what your body is telling you and just be very gentle with yourself. As PMRpro says don't listen to someone who tells you to go off and do energetic exercise. I had a career in professional sport at the highest level, have run a marathon in under three hours and considered myself to be very fit for my age before the GCA-PMR hit me and oh what a differnce it made. Couldn't easily get up off the floor, had to swivel in the car seat to get out and had to stand for a couple of minutes when I rose from a chair before I could walk. Once the Pred kicked in things started to change and all of those symptoms disappeared. However I have taken it very easy in getting back to any exercise (and I am a great beleiver that we should al do as much as we are capable of without stressing ourselves). Just as the very slow reduction in Pred seems to be the best route so the very slow increase in exercise works in the same way. Get comfortable with what you are doing before you do more and the 10% increase rule works well as long as you also keep going back to the lower level. Never ignore your body's reaction

  • It's good to be reassured that I can get on some kind of program again. It's so baffling

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