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Old 06-05-2002, 04:19 PM
Leslie9220's Avatar
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Question Rheumatoid arthritis and excercise

I've always walked for my RA. But my left knee is getting worse, and worse. and I've had to shorten the time I walk to 40 min.
Instead of 1 hr. and 15 min. at least 3 times a week but I would
like to vary my routine. In this rural area the only choice for swimming is the Y and it is very expensive. That would be the best choice for my RA. Has any one had experience with Yoga and RA?(I have taken it but it's been 20 yrs. ago.) I tried Jazzercise 4 or 5 yrs. ago but it was so high impact I had problems.
I am really interested in Tai Chi - low impact, good for balance,it reduces stress too. If I can find some one in the area who teaches it. Anyone with RA who has tried Tai Chi have advice ?
Or any other stretching excercises?


Thanks, Leslie9220
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Old 06-07-2002, 07:27 AM
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RA and exercise.

When I first read your message on a newsletter, I was going to suggest swimming. But when I read your entire message I saw you had already thought of that option. I can understand being concerned about the cost of joining a club, but what about the cost you are paying by being in pain? I also live in a rural town, and yoga is taught here for a price. I seem to remember seeing some video tapes at a Wal-Mart on Tai Chi a few monthes back. But back to the water ideal, it is one of the greatest things to do for the benefits you will get back. I had to go through physical therapy for over a year after knee surgery, and even though it was slow going I don't believe I could have gotten as far as I did without the water. One other suggestion, with the warmer weather maybe you could try some natural swimming holes, ask the younger kids around town. I know here all the kids know where the best swimming holes are. Best of luck.
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Old 06-07-2002, 11:21 AM
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Thanks Belinda its good to know that Wal Mart may have a Tai Chi Tape, I'll check it out. I know working out in water is the best therapy for RA... I'm not giving up on the idea. I'll just have to find
somewhere other than the Y to swim. I do take hot baths to temporarly relieve the knee pain, and overall joint pain in general plus acetomenophin and that helps. I take hydroxychloroquine. I refuse to give up walking it is a great excercise.

Some other things over 12 yrs. have worked for me and they might work for some one else. Some people are more sensitive to caffine than others, there are some British medical studies linking some reduction in pain in some RA patients to cutting out caffine as much as possible or eliminating it. I've cut mine cafine consuption down 90% or more. For the past 3 + yrs. it has helped. I was also as hooked on really good coffee and expresso as lots of people are for years. I do a cup of decaf coffee now and again with creamer. I can get away with green tea, and and sometimes flavored black teas not steeped as long. I learned by trial and error. I also read that there may be some allergic triggers to some foods that can aggravate pain in some arthritis sufferers. After the last 3 1/2 yrs. of trial and error for me this is what I figured what foods seem to increase my pain. So I avoid them (red meat especially beef may be related to hormones in commercial beef) I may eat beef once every 2 months or less. The worse thing for me to eat is genoa salami or pepperoni. Smoked turkey legs. Lunch meat anything with a high nitrate content. I avoid it at all costs.A little ham every now and then isn't as bad. To much corn sometimes bothers me.
I avoid all hard liquor too. I will drink a little dry red wine occasionally but have to watch that it dosen't contain sulfides.
I have to watch aged cheeses especially x-sharp cheddar and blue cheese too.Which is too bad because I like cheese but mozarella is ok so is cottage cheese. What ever is my allergic trigger may not be your trigger... I would decide to test a food by eating a safe food in the morning like yogurt and fruit. a hamburger for lunch .Grilled flank steak for dinner, green salad,sm. baked potato with sour cream. No more than 6 1/2 oz. of beef a day would trigger joint soreness so bad by later in the evening that I would have a hard time sleeping and the effects would last sometimes as long as 28 hrs. Now I eat a lot of fruits, vegies,whole grains,beans, tofu,chicken,salmon,turkey that isn't smoked,yogurt,lowfat cottage cheese, lowfat mozarella. This is unscientific I know but I have fibromyalgia also besides RA and
Sjorgren's. And my pain has lessened over time by about 25%.over 3 + yrs.
Which is worth it to me. Leslie 9220
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Old 06-08-2002, 11:49 AM
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exercise for RA

My best suggestion is water aerobics. You need to have exercises that are not stressful to the joints. Are there any pools in your area that offer this? Swimming is another option. Good Luck.
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Old 06-13-2002, 05:36 PM
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Hi Leslie...sorry to hear about the RA....in my humble opinion, I wouldn't try anything unless it is cleared with your Rheumatologist or Orthopedic Surgeon. They might suggest a physical therapist who can put you into the right exercise for your particular condition and circumstance. *Hugs* Stay well.

Jeannie
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Old 06-13-2002, 06:21 PM
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Thanks Jeannie for the sugestion. I'll keep it in mind.;-)
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