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Upper body strength training + arthritis



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NANLEYKW
SparkPoints: (52,584)
Fitness Minutes: (26,518)
Posts: 827
5/4/13 11:00 P

Thanks, everyone! I am noting all your responses and suggestions and am feeling hopeful that I'll get some good info from the doc and physical therapist.

(That said, at the playground tonight with my kids, for some ridiculous reason, I wanted to see how much of a pull-up I could do. Learned that pull-ups--even the barest start to one, as I didn't get far--don't make an arthritic shoulder feel good. Ice, ibuprofen, and lots of rest for me!)



STEPBYSTEP_
Posts: 777
5/4/13 6:26 A

I think I'm heading down a similar track with my shoulders so it really helps reading your question and the responses you've had so far. I'm thinking that a physiotherapist (physical therapist?) will be able to give stretches that should help; I hope you are able to get good advice on all of this!



ERINTFG
SparkPoints: (36,835)
Fitness Minutes: (16,330)
Posts: 562
5/4/13 12:24 A

I have rheumatoid arthritis. I'm 34 and was diagnosed 8 1/2 years ago. It sounds like you have osteoarthritis-- if it's just in your one shoulder. Generally RA manifests in many joints throughout the body.

The two are very different, in spite of the similar names, so I'm not going to pretend to be an expert. I think you're on the right track with talking to your doc and getting clear instructions from them.

That said, arthritis pain is serious. A lot of times you'll hear that you should "push through the pain" but that is foolish advice if you are dealing with a chronic disease. You have to get really good at listening to your body and recognizing the "good" pain (muscles that are working hard) and the "bad" pain (joints that aren't working correctly). And you have to listen to that bad pain or you're going to make it worse.

You can do this! You might have to modify some of your goals, but it is possible, and highly beneficial, for you to become stronger and healthier! Good luck. :)



JLOVEHIIT
Posts: 17
5/3/13 12:00 P

I cannot stress it enough.... your shoulders (along with the rotator cuff) are one of the easiest parts of your body to injure. Make sure if you're going to be strength training to work your way slowly, don't push yourself too hard and WARM UP YOUR JOINTS.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/likness2
2.htm -- great article on shoulder strengthening exercises in addition to stretching.



NANLEYKW
SparkPoints: (52,584)
Fitness Minutes: (26,518)
Posts: 827
5/1/13 11:19 P

Regina, thanks for the suggestion. I'm hoping I don't have to restrict myself to strength training in water, just because I'm lazy and like to do it at home. :)

Dragonchilde, thanks! That's just what I was hoping to hear! I'm especially hoping that I'll be allowed to go back to doing push-ups and planks. I was just starting the 100 Push-Up Challenge when I started feeling the twinges, so I abandoned it, but I'd love to try it again.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,434)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,588
5/1/13 4:37 P

Yes, you can strength train with arthritis in your shoulder. I have it. I have to avoid certain exercises (overhead presses are verboten) but I can strength train in other ways. You can work with your PT to develop a program that can do this.

And I will say that strength training and regular exercise has improved ALL of my arthritis symptoms.

As for age: I've had arthritis since I was 18, and I'm 32 now. Arthritis ain't an old lady's disease!

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 5/1/2013 (16:37)


REGINA_PHALANGE
SparkPoints: (17,197)
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Posts: 681
5/1/13 3:28 P

I'm sure someone else with experience can give you more practical advice, but I would imagine doing strength training under water (with water weights) would be gentle on your shoulder. It might be something to look into/ask your doctor about.



NANLEYKW
SparkPoints: (52,584)
Fitness Minutes: (26,518)
Posts: 827
5/1/13 2:53 P

First off, I will say that I'm going to ask my doctor and physical therapist at first opportunity, but I was just hoping to get some real-life experience from people here.

I've had some mild shoulder pain for the last three or four months, so I stopped doing all upper body strength training (since pretty much everything seems to involve the shoulder in some way). I did the usual RICE and NSAID stuff on my own and it didn't seem to make a difference, so I finally made a doctor's appointment. She did x-rays and I just found out that I have the beginnings of arthritis in my shoulder, and that is likely what's causing the pain. (I'm 43, btw, so I didn't think I'd be dealing with this kind of thing just yet.) She referred me to a physical therapist, and I will be making an appointment for that asap.

So, like I said, I will ask the pros for specific advice, etc., but am wondering if anyone here has dealt with this and if they've had to stop doing upper body ST altogether, or if they've found a way to train without aggravating the arthritis. It seems to me that strengthening the muscles in that area would help ease the burden on the joint and alleviate symptoms, but that's based on no facts at all, just a hunch. :) I should say that during regular activity, I have little to no pain; it's just with certain motions that I feel a twinge.

TIA for any experiences you can share!



 
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