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Readers Respond: Does Exercise Help or Hurt Your Arthritis?

Responses: 35


Updated September 11, 2009

According to survey results released by the Arthritis Society, almost two-thirds of Canadians struggling with arthritis believe that physical activity poses the risk of aggravating their symptoms. That result was considerably higher than the general population who responded at 46%.

Is this just a misconception and contrary to reports that regular exercise is beneficial for arthritis? Draw from your own experiences and answer our question: Does Exercise and Physical Activity Help or Hurt Your Arthritis?

Does exercise help osteoarthritis

The answer in my case is NO. It makes my condiition a lot worse. I cannot hardly stand the pain.
—Guest Bomnie Wilson

Zumba with arthritis

I am 57 have arthritis in all my joints yet do zumba twice a week for 1 hour. It's great. It hurts but so do most things. Gotta keep going. Makes me feel young.
—Guest Jackie Coulbeck

Answers to exercise and arthritis

That's what I would like to know. I have been on pain pills for awhile. That has worked for me. I have always been an active person. I am a young 75 and still work. I have found that pampering my arthritis hinders my going from sitting to standing. Feels like I have a hinge in my groin that catches. I just joined a Health Club. I have started to do swim exercise, zoomba, which I had never seen before. I am not hurting and feel great. Laying around was making me stiff and have a lot of leg cramps. Eat bananas help with some ailments. I have decided with positive thinking, I am going to get rid of my arthritis. I believe in positive thinking instead of feeling sorry for myself and complaining. Have something to do in your life that is fun and positive. Happy New Yr.
—Guest Joy Wirick

Does exercise help or hurt arthritis

My husband was very athletic when his arthritis began 12 years ago. He now only moves from bed to his comfy chair and back. Just standing in the shower can cause him hours of discomfort. Any day that he does any type of walking or even riding in a car, causes days of excruciating pain. He is on morphine patches and they are becoming less and less effective. Exercise hurts him, it does not help him.
—Guest LeAnna

Exercise and osteoarthritis in the hip

I have been running for years tho now I have osteoarthritis in the hip I still run tho mainly on grass surface. I'm 65yr also now swim regularly and do other exercises and I eat well-overall. I feel very good and only occasionally do I get a sharp pain in the hip.
—Guest Jim

If exercise hurts that's bad medicine

RA pain can be controlled with a combination of methotrexate and cortizone combined with mild exercise. Your specialist will advise the correct dosage for you to minimise any bad side effects. The correct dosage is determined by a series of blood tests, usually monthly, to ascertain the ra factor (immune response) and various other factors in the blood. It takes about three weeks before a change in the medication takes effect so it may take 3 months or more to sort it out. WARNING!!! Once a cortizone treatment has been started it is very dangerous to stop. The adrenal cortex stops manufacturing it naturally and without it the body goes into shock. This could be life-threatening. Exercise should not be painful so if it hurts - stop doing it.
—Guest Bluebird

Causes More Pain

I've always been a walker (3 mil. day) though I was walking at a moderate pace (17 min. mile). Since Jan. I now do weight machines for 30 min. 3x a week, plus usually walk/jog (4.2 mph/6.5 mph) 3 miles most days. I have had more pain since beginning this more vigorous exercise plan than I ever had with my arthritis before. I'm considering backing off. Though I had to do that since I've gained muscle, lost fat, and lost 5 lbs. Don't know what the solution is, but it sure seems like the exercise causes me more pain.
—Guest susan

Does exercise help arthritis?

Exercise aggravates my arthritis and I'm tired of hearing that it helps. Not in my case it doesn't!
—Guest Ali

Exercising but still in pain

I've been working out for 2 months. My muscles around arthritis should be stronger, but my neck, lower back and sometimes mid back are still killing me often.
—Guest Iris

Does exercise help?

I am having a very painful flare and finding it hard to sleep as feel like been run over by bus....too scared to take medications with what I've read. Finding specialist charge heaps yet don't answer your questions.
—Guest Gail

RA Pain in joints and hand joints

My pain gets so bad I can't bear it when anything touches my hand. As I write this, my hands are killing me. I took some ibuprofen, it usually helps but so far not his time.
—Guest Cathy Porchia


I think with moderation the exercise help to keep the body activ, I have so many problems with my bones, I notes if I don't do any thing my body star to feel very stiff and it is more difficul to move. with the rihgt preparation will be not painful.
—Guest Maria Carmen

Feeling normal and feeling pain

I find that new injuries do not heal and past injuries flare up. I can work out like I was trained to do, but I have found that I feel worse if I keep up like I did in the past. I think joint pain is very different than muscle pain and is very debilitating. I am using less than 15 pounds for upper body workouts and only up to 50 pounds for waist and legs. Eating healthy is also a workout in its self as there is nothing worth eating unless you make it yourself. Prescriptions for joint pain do relieve the joints but will make you sick to your stomach, tired, sluggish and whacked out. I am thinking of trying 1 ui of HGH 5 days a week for 4 months. This probably will do the trick and bring me back from feeling like my body is failing. No matter what I have done to get better i do not feel that fasting, glucosimine, vitamins, tea tree oil, ect makes any difference. It hurts and it won't heal and you keep feeling more tired as time goes on.
—Guest Nizer

Does exercise help?

As long as I am working, I have very little pain. Once I get home and relax here comes the pain. It's hard to stand on my feet and my joints get stiff right away. Has anyone ever had this problem?

Exercise and RA

I've been diagnosed with RA since 1982, with symptoms before that. At one point I was told I would be in a wheelchair. I'm not. I've had synovectomies on my knees, and I've had darroch procedures on my wrists. I've blown off an ulnar nerve transposition, and I've had 3 replacements of my right shoulder. Last year in May (2008), I started running. I've since run several 5Ks (3.1 miles), a few 10Ks (6.2 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles), a 16 mile trail race, and a full marathon (26.2 miles). I'll be 51 yrs old in 2 weeks, and will run another half marathon in Nov, and another full in Feb. Yes, I hurt sometimes. But if I don't exercise, I hurt worse. At 51, I feel better than I felt at 16. (btw, I'm hypothyroid, and have other assorted health issues). Exercise has changed my life. I love it!
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