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[Member Discussions and Questions] Ongoing Muscle and Joint Soreness After Exercise with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Ongoing Muscle and Joint Soreness After Exercise with Rheumatoid Arthritis Member DiscussionApril 20, 2014

Has this happened to you with exercise or do you have some advice? A member writes:

Hi, I am 30 yrs old and have suffered from RA for 6 years. Currently on Methotrexate and Humira and have had a great response to this combo for the last 3 years. So much so, that I rarely flare up these days. I took this opportunity to become more active and last year took up running and regular exercise with great results. It’s now a major part of my life.
Here’s my question – are there any other active RA chicks who have problems with ongoing muscle and joint soreness after exercise? I know recovery is a regular part of exercise but in the last month or so it seems that my muscles (particularly calves) and shins are constantly sore. It isn’t regular shin splints, as they haven’t gone away. I have 1-2 rest days a week but then as soon as I exercise again I can barely walk the next morning. Can anyone else shed any light?

As always your input in greatly appreciated and it helps out so much. Thank you. (((pain-free internet hugs)))

What our members have said so far:

Kristina – I swear by yoga. It has worked miracles on my joints and muscles and really helped with posture.
Jen – I would check into the fibromyalgia possibility. My RA will still affect my joints mostly if I run…my muscles recover similar to when I was “normal” Try using a foam roller like the rumble roller and see if ruling your site make areas allows you to feel better the next day. I suspect it might. I’m training for a Half Ironman triathlon to support arthritis research:) so I’m doing lots of training.

LaShelle – Oh I am so envious of you for it ability to run! I can barely walk. But used to run 4 miles everyday on my lunch break. Miss it so much !!!!

Kristine -Thanks for all the input guys. It’s amazing to hear so many RA sufferers can go on to live almost normal lives. When I was first diagnosed 6 yrs ago my rheumy told me I was the worst case she had seen. I was regularly in hospital unable to even walk. This year I ran my first 5k, and have since completed 2 others. Doing an 8k obstacle race in a few weeks too! Well done all you chicks! And thanks for the advice. I will definitely get my doc to look into fibro. I already eat plenty of bananas, although I have often had potassium deficiencies, so will check that out too. Thanks ladies. xo

Sandra – Have you checked your potassium levels? Maybe add a banana? I have struggled with RA since I was 19 so almost 20 yrs. I just started run/walking almost a year ago. I HAVE to stretch really well or I get the same thing. I do make sure to keep up with bananas. I also take a muscle spasm pill every night which makes a huge difference! I am so proud of you for running. I never thought I would be able to do running but God has shown me through this. A year ago I couldn’t open anything and barely could walk to the car. Now I have lost 30 pounds and I am training for my 4th 5K. Keep up the good work!

Cristina – I experienced the same thing when I first started running (woo hoo for the meds working!). I just pushed through it with yoga for runners before/after and with super cushy Skechers running shoes. On days I was having more pain, I walked. My thoughts are that my body just needed the time to strengthen and heal and this could be the same situation for you. I don’t have problems too often anymore, but I still incorporate some of the yoga positions that are specific to runners after a few minutes of jogging, just to be sure. I also try not to push my joints too hard because I know they can’t take as much running as my lungs.
I’m so glad there are more of us lucky enough to have the opportunity to take up running.

Fitness Bitness – I have had additional success with strength training. You might try adding in a couple of days of weights to build up some muscle to hold those joints secure.

Captain Angry Bones – I use volteran gel on my knees and hips before running. I am also on Lorzone for my muscle spasms. How you recover is really important try Epsom salts after runs as well. I also find I bleach out a lot of potassium and magnesium so make sure you’re eating enough of these or supplementing!

Marianne – I’ve just begun an exercise program a month ago, started slow , the new blood test said my inflammation was low (on methotrexate and Humira) but as soon as I tried to increase activity I was incredibly sore, so fatigued I needed 2-3 hour naps during day and feel a little discouraged. I was a very active person but I’ve lost muscle mass and I’m better than I was before meds but acceptance is so hard

Michelle – Also on mtx and humira. Had great response for about a year. Had foot and calf pain and started neurontin…helped quite a bit. Now having regular flares again and more frustrated as ever..

Adella – I experienced the same with running – so much so that I have scaled it back to brisk walks. Yoga and pi-yo are great exercises that I have taken up as well.
I experienced the same with running – so much so that I have scaled it back to brisk walks. Yoga and pi-yo are great exercises that I have taken up as well.

Charlene – You have RA!

Shelley – I had to switch to an elliptical machine and had a significant decrease in pain relating to exercise.

Fanny – have you tried low impact exercise such as swimming instead of running? the water is great for me but even walking on a treadmillfor 15 minutes kills me the following day. Running is a massive no no for me but swimming, especially in a warmer pool seems to work wonders

Stephanie – I have the same problem. I get horrid calf spasms, turns out I have Fibromyalgia too. Once my doc put me on Lyrica, those issues went away about 95% of the time.
I also use a wedge similar to this one, my husband built it for me http://www.amazon.com/Slant-Adjustable…/dp/B002ZDURJ4
Hope this helps

Virginia – I have the same issues my ankles lock and my calf muscles spasm usually after i have gone to bed. It honestly feels like the muscle is separating from the bone. I use mineral ice on the affected area sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn’t. I found that when i am careful to include 40 oz of lo-cal Gatorade to my diet it seems to help but not get rid of the spasms completely. Hope you find some relief .

Kendra – Oh and I do ice skating and walking and some bike riding. And I see a personal trainer once a fortnight. And I had a full knee replacement last year.
Running is a very high impact activity. I’m surprised (and thrilled for you) that you can run. If you have any degeneration in your knees running will be making it worse regardless of whether you are flaring. Might be worth getting a scan or xray to check you haven’t got damaged miniscus or cartilage.

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The above is a discussion created by a member and with member generated responses from our Facebook community (facebook.com/rachicks) put into a format so that the discussion can be archived for future answers needed by others in a searchable format while keeping member anonymity. Member provided information, statements and opinions do not reflect on RAChicks.com or all individuals with Autoimmune Arthritis. We encourage all members to seek professional medical advice for any specific questions and concerns as this does not substitute competent medical care.

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