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Old 08-24-2010, 11:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Exercises for arthritis sufferers?

Hi all. I was wondering if anyone has any good exercises for arthritis sufferers. I'm a 38 year old female and have a condition called Ankylosing Spondilytis. Basically, it is arthritis of the spine. My vertebrae are fusing together to form a solid bone instead of a flexible spine. The disease can affect other joints as well, as I have it in my hips (bad) and breastbone (just started there). So, a lot of the medium to high impact workouts are out for me as well as anything that requires bending or twisting. Kind of cuts down on the exercises one can do.

I have two 3 pound hand weights that I use to work my arms, chest, and legs at least 3 times a week, but find that any other type of exercise causes just too much pain. I weigh 209 right now and would like to get down to 140, but I know it'll be hard if I can't get any exercising in to help the process. Even walking can cause lower back pain after a while.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be greatful. I know getting the extra weight off will help my joints in the end, but not quite sure how to get there and still eat like a human and not a bird. Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi there. I also have AS (I'm 35 y/o male), so I feel your pain. I believe the key to success is getting your pain levels down to a manageable state, then you can begin building some muscle and gaining mobility, which will slow the spinal fusing, and also will make the weight loss possible. A couple years ago I was in agonizing pain but have turned things around and am almost normal these days. If you are not a member, you should join kickas.org . it is a great site w/ tons of info and support from members. Many people (including myself) have found relief thru diet or many of the new wonder drugs such as remicade.
Here is an exercise DVD that I bought a while back which is pretty good:
Spondylitis Association of America: Online Store

Any water exercise is great. maybe water aerobics or just swimming laps. I also find the elliptical trainer very useful and it doesn't bother my hips or anything like running does. I was able to get my inflammation down enough to start a weight lifting routine and that has helped me more than anything I believe. But it's all about baby steps and not injuring or aggravating any joints so take it easy. feel free to email me if you I can help. eljbird@yahoo.com
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jbirdus View Post
Hi there. I also have AS (I'm 35 y/o male), so I feel your pain. I believe the key to success is getting your pain levels down to a manageable state, then you can begin building some muscle and gaining mobility, which will slow the spinal fusing, and also will make the weight loss possible. A couple years ago I was in agonizing pain but have turned things around and am almost normal these days. If you are not a member, you should join kickas.org . it is a great site w/ tons of info and support from members. Many people (including myself) have found relief thru diet or many of the new wonder drugs such as remicade.
Here is an exercise DVD that I bought a while back which is pretty good:
Spondylitis Association of America: Online Store

Any water exercise is great. maybe water aerobics or just swimming laps. I also find the elliptical trainer very useful and it doesn't bother my hips or anything like running does. I was able to get my inflammation down enough to start a weight lifting routine and that has helped me more than anything I believe. But it's all about baby steps and not injuring or aggravating any joints so take it easy. feel free to email me if you I can help. eljbird@yahoo.com
Thanks, jbirdus!!! I've never talked with anyone who actually has AS. I've tried the swimming before - was in a water aerobics class - but found the cold water made my joints stiff which in turn caused pain. Guess I could see if there is an indoor pool in a neighboring community that has some sort of free use or workout class. My community only has an outdoor pool and it's about ready to close for the season anyway.

I'll check out the site and DVD link you sent me. I'm willing to try anything that will help. I take Mobic right now, and up until recently it was working well. I've noticed I have more pain doing daily activities than I used to, so I think it's time to talk to the doctor about a disease-modifying drug now. Maybe it'll help me to be less sore so I can move more.

Thanks for the help and advice. I'll keep your email address and keep in touch.
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