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  1. #1
    Registered User LiftingCoder's Avatar
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    Lifting with rheumatoid arthritis or arthritis in general?

    Rheumatoid arthritis runs in my family, and most of us get it in our early 20s. I am not quite 35 yet, but figured I would make the topic here as arthritis is usually a condition associated with older people.
    I noticed about a year ago that my joints would be throbbing when I woke up in the morning - a sure sign that I was developing rheumatoid arthritis like most others in my family. Unlike other members of my family who decided to stay mostly inactive while trying to make the problem go away with tens of thousands of dollars in doctors visits and medications, I have found I'm able to mitigate my symptoms with no drugs whatsoever thanks to lifting. My doctor actually told me NOT to lift heavy due to my condition, but I have found that the heavier I lift, the better my joints feel. I take plenty of fish oil. I have also noticed that tumeric capsules make a HUGE difference, especially with my knees. If I don't take tumeric capsules daily for about a week, the morning knee pain will return.
    Just to show what a difference heavy lifting makes, a couple of months ago I was on a trip where I was gone for two weeks. I only had access to a hotel gym that basically had light free weights, nothing over 35 pound dumbells. I lifted for probably an hour a day in that gym, doing low weight (since I didn't have access to heavy weights) and very high reps. By the end of the trip, my joints were absolutely killing me - I could barely even grip something without my hands hurting. A couple weeks of resuming my heavy lifts after getting home, and my joint pain was back under control.

    As far as diet goes, I haven't found a whole lot that affects my arthritis other than eating tons of processed carbs especially things like cake and cookies, which negatively affects my arthritis. My doctor advised against red meat, but I have found no negative effects on my arthritis eating red meat.
    Anyone else have similar experiences, living with arthritis?
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  2. #2
    Registered User pvsampson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LiftingCoder View Post
    Anyone else have...experiences, living with arthritis?
    Yes.

    A supposedly wise man once said "Life is suffering.Suffering is existence."

    Pain is part of lifting,especially for "older people".

    Live with it.Don't b#tch about it.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Anofuctus's Avatar
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    I have osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and my orthopedic doctor and PCP both agree that it's progressing. The orthopedic doctor mentioned surgery to repair or remove damaged tissue and possible replacement of the entire area. The two conditions get really bad when I ingest any kind of sugary food. I can't touch beer, liquors, or wines anymore. The pain hits my joints like small drill bits simply tearing my joints apart. I went the tumeric, calcium citrate, alpha lipoic acid, selenium, magnesium, and D3 route, but I need relief fast because I was suffering. I went to the ER when the pain had gotten too much bear and I've been on vicodin off on for five years. I've got to get off the drugs. No progress in the gym.

    Red meats, I eat very little of it maybe once a week. I rely on chicken, fish, dairy, beans, peas, and grains. Plenty of vegetables, water, juices, and whey powder.
    I'll try getting back on the supplements and add L-Lysine and Arginine along with MSM and find out what will occur. I'll get back to you within a month.
    Last edited by Anofuctus; 07-25-2013 at 07:20 PM.
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  4. #4
    Lift and enjoy! gottarace83's Avatar
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    yes, I am kinda in the same boat. Both my elbows are shot from arthritis. To the point they need replaced.
    To compound that... I am coming off a shoulder tear that required surgery. That put my arm in a sling for 8 weeks. The sling came off last week. Now my elbow is 1000 times worse...
    I am not trying to recover and get movement back.. I use Advil and PWO 30 minutes prior to lifting to get thru the pain. Think I'll try some tumeric capsules.. Where did you get yours? Worth a shot... Helps you I'm game...
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  5. #5
    H = T + V mslman71's Avatar
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    Yep. GH osteoarthritis. Late stage. I'd rather not have it. Not looking forward to the replacement but it is what it is. I've made it two more years than I thought I would and no immediate indication that I' can't hold out another year or two. Staying moving and lifting definitely helps. Couldn't imagine having arthritis as a systemic issue. Good luck.
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    Registered User tornmuscle123's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mslman71 View Post
    Yep. GH osteoarthritis. Late stage. I'd rather not have it. Not looking forward to the replacement but it is what it is. I've made it two more years than I thought I would and no immediate indication that I' can't hold out another year or two. Staying moving and lifting definitely helps. Couldn't imagine having arthritis as a systemic issue. Good luck.
    Yep - strong muscles ligaments and tendons help keep stuff together
    Doh!
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    Registered User jediokie's Avatar
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    I have osteoarthritis in both knees. I still make gains, I just pulled 445 on deads. I've found it kills me if I do squats and deads in the same week so I'm alternating to see if that helps and so far it does.

    Work with what you've got, if you want to lift you will.
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  8. #8
    Registered User beachguy498's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mslman71 View Post
    Yep. GH osteoarthritis. Late stage. I'd rather not have it. Not looking forward to the replacement but it is what it is. I've made it two more years than I thought I would and no immediate indication that I' can't hold out another year or two. Staying moving and lifting definitely helps. Couldn't imagine having arthritis as a systemic issue. Good luck.
    I have it here and there and I deal with it. Knee, shoulder, slightly in one hand, some in my back. I take joint supplements, fish oil, vitamins. I'm still lifting heavy even though I have a back injury. IMHO, you are far better off exercising than babying it. Most people with RA are on the couch.

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  9. #9
    Registered User LiftingCoder's Avatar
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    Sounds like many here have far worse arthritis than I do. I really hope mine doesn't progress more than it has already. The men in my family don't tend to get RA as bad as them woman do.

    My arthritis is mainly in my knees and shoulders and lower back, but occasionally in my right hand and elbows too when it flares up badly. I do extra shoulder exercises daily (the Diesel Crew Shoulder Rehab program) along with doing very heavy warmups with squats. My knees always kill me when I start doing squats so I spend a lot of time doing warmup sets and stretches, but by the time I finish my last working set, they feel fine.

    As far as which tumeric to try, I'm not sure it really matters, as I've tried many different brands and they all seemed to work just the same. It seems to work better for some people than others, so I'd say it's worth a try - get a bottle and finish it, and see if you notice a difference.

    I agree that most people with arthritis baby it, which only makes things worse. The worst possible thing you can do with arthritis is to be inactive.... Even if I'm inactive for 2-3 days, I can feel the pain creeping back into my joints. I lift three times a week (not counting shoulder rehab lifts) and on the other days I either swim or use an elliptical machine. I cannot jog/run anymore, as it kills my knees too much if I jog more than about 1/2 mile.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Georgeoz's Avatar
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    I am 78 and I have arthritis in my knees. Also a congenital condition in fingers and toes called Hebberden's Nodes.

    I endorse all the dietary counsels on here. Keep right away from anything with purines.Lots of water, Take painkillers only on the very worst days.

    I also endorse the recommendations for lifting - as heavy as your joints will sustain. Many many lighter reps will strengthen ligs and tendons - I count some up to 100 and don't go much above 7 or 8 Kg.

    Also stretching and endless core work.

    And get the BF down. Very hard at my age.

    And keep the dick working. It's the best analgesic known to man.

    NOthing's perfect but just sitting around and hurting will kill you sooner and more painfully. Working out and working CAREFULLY through the pain will bring benefits. You will wake up one day and realise you are a bit better and then a bit more.
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  11. #11
    Registered User JerryB's Avatar
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    I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my lower back. I experience pain if I sit too long or in the morning if I sleep in certain positions.

    I have made adjustments to my weight training. For example my back and quadriceps training incorporates the per-exhaust approach so less weight is required for the compound exercise that follows the isolation exercise. My back routine starts with a lever pullover apparatus I fabricated for doing pullovers similar to the Nautilus or Hammer Strength pullover machines. The lever pullover is followed by seated low pulley rows. For the quadriceps I start with leg extensions followed by hip belt squats on a hip belt platform and cable system I fabricated in my garage. I can go heavy with the hip belt squats without stressing the lower back.

    The weight training appears not to be aggravating the back condition.








    I also have avoided the high sugar foods from my diet.
    How can you visualize training a muscle if you don't know its structure?
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  12. #12
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    The more muscles and tendon strength you can build around the joint, the better.
    Arthritis runs in my family too.

    I have mainly problems with my shoulders and elbows, since my early 20s.

    Don't go too heavy if you are having a "flare up" otherwise on pain free days, work your butt off to build that muscle, it will help!

    Ibuprofen for pain -relief, or hot baths will help with the pain.

    There are some books on body-building and arthritis- do some research online, and either buy some, or borrow from a library- they have excellent tips.
    I have less pain now, than when I was younger due to being cleverer with my workouts. Good luck!
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  13. #13
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    Arthritis is an unfortunate genetic trait in my family, and I currently have it in knees, lower back and hands. I have found that staying active really keeps the pain and stiffness at bay, and since I have started weight training, I can deal with the flare-ups better. That being said, my hands are still killing me (posted about it earlier), but the swelling is going down, and the stiffness is getting better.
    Right now, I am doing contrast therapy on my hands, and Ibruprofen has become a necessity. Lots of water to offset the drug, and massaging my hands as well. In the long run, with stronger muscles to support my body, and working in flexibility to maintain range of motion in my joints, I think I will have fewer problems than many of my family members.
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    I have dealing the bits and piece of the injuries I have for a few years now. if I could say anyone thing helped it was going away from certain foods. wheat has helped and so has soy. another is the nitrates in some foods. I get more issues from that as it makes joints swell. I have found that most Chinese foods are full of stuff if they have been pre processed. one in particular made my knees swell so bad my knee doctor thought I had gout.
    as is I use coconut water in my shakes and it helps ward off some the swelling effects if I know I ate something I know will mess me up. another thing I have had some success with is the DE (diatomacious earth). its a silica replacement. it does help with joint pain after you have had it a while. it helps with some of the stomach issues some folks have. I never had any luck with seashell crap they push on everyone.
    http://www.earthworkshealth.com/human-use.php
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    I have it in my knees too. I don' t let it stop me from my lifting or anything else. I just find ways to work around it. I find soaking in a hot bath helps me feel better. I find the cold weather makes my knees hurt worse. I found the spin bike class was easier on my knees than my treadmill.
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    Osteoarthritis is more of a wear and tear type of injury

    RA is often the body attacking itself, similar in many cases to an autoimmune disease.

    There are over 150+ types of RA.

    I have RA, and you have to simply learn about your illness, and learn what works for you.

    Some RA drugs have wicked side effects, so research that, in case you ever need to take them.

    Weightlifting is great, because it counters the muscle wasting effect of joint pain.
    Controlled movements
    Stay in normal range of joint movement
    Learn good pain vs bad pain, and never be afraid to push the envelope
    Always stay moving

    I balance weightlifting with swimming. For me it's the perfect balance. I get to keep the body strong, and the cool water takes down the inflammation.

    My RA is systemic. Everywhere I have a joint I can have pain. From my jaw to my pinky toe.

    My control over the disease, started, by understanding, then learning not to listen to the docs, and be persistent.

    1. Changing my diet (super clean)
    2. Very very moderate alcohol (makes it worse)
    3. Swimming and icing
    4. Strength training

    I take vitamin E, fish oil, multi, magnesium and potassium on alternating days.
    A lot of people who have osteo, take glucosamine. That stuff does f-all for me

    Oh yeah, and develop a sense of humour, you'll need it

    Low impact exercises are good for cardio. Sometimes jogging long distances can hurt you, if you're a pavement pounder like me

    I believe that the stress on the joints, brought on by strength training, helps force the body to try and repair itself, and make new cells around the joints. For me, for now it seems to work.

    Everyone is different. Good luck and keep moving no matter what, even if it hurts.

    Anyway lots of good tips in the thread, very good guys!
    I'm going to take the Sc0liosis curve out of my back and eliminate my nerve pain
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    I remember a song from childhood called ' head,shoulders,knees & toes'
    Yep that about sums it.
    My body reminds me of a credit card, All the fun I've had over the years I'm paying back with Interest.
    Wouldn't change a thing though,
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    Your update?

    Hi,
    Was just diagnosed with RA and would like to hear your status on your lifting, gains, health, pain and diet.
    Know it’s a long shot since this thread is very old, But it’s very interesting,
    Thanks
    Dida



    Originally Posted by LiftingCoder View Post
    Rheumatoid arthritis runs in my family, and most of us get it in our early 20s. I am not quite 35 yet, but figured I would make the topic here as arthritis is usually a condition associated with older people.
    I noticed about a year ago that my joints would be throbbing when I woke up in the morning - a sure sign that I was developing rheumatoid arthritis like most others in my family. Unlike other members of my family who decided to stay mostly inactive while trying to make the problem go away with tens of thousands of dollars in doctors visits and medications, I have found I'm able to mitigate my symptoms with no drugs whatsoever thanks to lifting. My doctor actually told me NOT to lift heavy due to my condition, but I have found that the heavier I lift, the better my joints feel. I take plenty of fish oil. I have also noticed that tumeric capsules make a HUGE difference, especially with my knees. If I don't take tumeric capsules daily for about a week, the morning knee pain will return.
    Just to show what a difference heavy lifting makes, a couple of months ago I was on a trip where I was gone for two weeks. I only had access to a hotel gym that basically had light free weights, nothing over 35 pound dumbells. I lifted for probably an hour a day in that gym, doing low weight (since I didn't have access to heavy weights) and very high reps. By the end of the trip, my joints were absolutely killing me - I could barely even grip something without my hands hurting. A couple weeks of resuming my heavy lifts after getting home, and my joint pain was back under control.

    As far as diet goes, I haven't found a whole lot that affects my arthritis other than eating tons of processed carbs especially things like cake and cookies, which negatively affects my arthritis. My doctor advised against red meat, but I have found no negative effects on my arthritis eating red meat.
    Anyone else have similar experiences, living with arthritis?
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    Originally Posted by LiftingCoder View Post
    Rheumatoid arthritis runs in my family, and most of us get it in our early 20s. I am not quite 35 yet, but figured I would make the topic here as arthritis is usually a condition associated with older people.
    I noticed about a year ago that my joints would be throbbing when I woke up in the morning - a sure sign that I was developing rheumatoid arthritis like most others in my family. Unlike other members of my family who decided to stay mostly inactive while trying to make the problem go away with tens of thousands of dollars in doctors visits and medications, I have found I'm able to mitigate my symptoms with no drugs whatsoever thanks to lifting. My doctor actually told me NOT to lift heavy due to my condition, but I have found that the heavier I lift, the better my joints feel. I take plenty of fish oil. I have also noticed that tumeric capsules make a HUGE difference, especially with my knees. If I don't take tumeric capsules daily for about a week, the morning knee pain will return.
    Just to show what a difference heavy lifting makes, a couple of months ago I was on a trip where I was gone for two weeks. I only had access to a hotel gym that basically had light free weights, nothing over 35 pound dumbells. I lifted for probably an hour a day in that gym, doing low weight (since I didn't have access to heavy weights) and very high reps. By the end of the trip, my joints were absolutely killing me - I could barely even grip something without my hands hurting. A couple weeks of resuming my heavy lifts after getting home, and my joint pain was back under control.

    As far as diet goes, I haven't found a whole lot that affects my arthritis other than eating tons of processed carbs especially things like cake and cookies, which negatively affects my arthritis. My doctor advised against red meat, but I have found no negative effects on my arthritis eating red meat.
    Anyone else have similar experiences, living with arthritis?
    My wife has been living with rheumatoid disease for about 15 years. I call it "disease" rather than just arthritis because arthritis is just one of the ways it can manifest itself. It's a systemic auto-immune disease that can affect internal organs in addition to joints. It has different triggers and different effects in different people, so it's hard to talk about what works and what doesn't. In my wife's case, she was at the point of needing a cane to walk, and every change in the weather would leave her in intense pain. We spent a lot of time and money looking for effective treatments, and were on the verge of giving up when my wife found someone who I at first thought might be a quack. His program primarily involved dietary changes, chiropractic adjustments, and electrical stimulation of various joints. Insurance would not touch it. In spite of my misgivings, I had to trust her research, and we were pretty desperate. Three years later, her inflammation is dramatically down, her cane is now my hiking stick, pain has almost disappeared, and she's walking almost normally. The dietary changes involved in her case eliminating nightshades, specifically tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. Big life changes, but they've been completely worth it.
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  20. #20
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    I'm seeing this is from 2013, hopefully I catch someone. It helps to talk to others with RA, bc others think they know, but really don't. I was diagnosed at 25. A hand me down from my Grandmother. But I was young when she passed, but I saw her very twisted up. I never imagined me getting this. So when I was told, I completely freaked & went into omg I can't get that way. I cried & got mad at the world. Just uneducated on it. Times have changed & we have better options. I was put on hell meds though for years that made me bitchy along with weight gain. I'm a chick who played soccer and softball from 8 to the day I woke up & couldn't get up. The 2 things I loved yanked from me. With steroids & a chemo drug that made me so sick & made me gain weight. Embarrassed to say I got to right under 200. I lost it all & am 135 now. FInally 2 years ago I was put on injections that gave me life back. Recently in remission. I never thought I'd reach this. However, I have damage in my elbows & wrists, I've had my elbow drained & from soccer injuries, my knee is bone on bone. All these years they wouldn't do surgery until I got older. I haven't had yet. I am itching to weight lift again. To heavy eventually, though I'm told no, I can't listen to that. Oddly I'm a chiropractic asst and pt.so, I do my own therapy lol.... I need suggestions of where to start. I'm thinking of going to a trainer, but I am serious & want them to be serious with me. I can't be told no. I do have pain bad at times & I hear the crunch when just lifting 10lbs now. I kinda just need someone who has this to start me off. Apologies for any typos and I paid no attention to grammar lol
    Last edited by poisonivy5; 11-07-2018 at 07:27 AM. Reason: Added
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    Originally Posted by LiftingCoder View Post
    Rheumatoid arthritis runs in my family, and most of us get it in our early 20s. I am not quite 35 yet, but figured I would make the topic here as arthritis is usually a condition associated with older people.
    I noticed about a year ago that my joints would be throbbing when I woke up in the morning - a sure sign that I was developing rheumatoid arthritis like most others in my family. Unlike other members of my family who decided to stay mostly inactive while trying to make the problem go away with tens of thousands of dollars in doctors visits and medications, I have found I'm able to mitigate my symptoms with no drugs whatsoever thanks to lifting. My doctor actually told me NOT to lift heavy due to my condition, but I have found that the heavier I lift, the better my joints feel. I take plenty of fish oil. I have also noticed that tumeric capsules make a HUGE difference, especially with my knees. If I don't take tumeric capsules daily for about a week, the morning knee pain will return.
    Just to show what a difference heavy lifting makes, a couple of months ago I was on a trip where I was gone for two weeks. I only had access to a hotel gym that basically had light free weights, nothing over 35 pound dumbells. I lifted for probably an hour a day in that gym, doing low weight (since I didn't have access to heavy weights) and very high reps. By the end of the trip, my joints were absolutely killing me - I could barely even grip something without my hands hurting. A couple weeks of resuming my heavy lifts after getting home, and my joint pain was back under control.

    As far as diet goes, I haven't found a whole lot that affects my arthritis other than eating tons of processed carbs especially things like cake and cookies, which negatively affects my arthritis. My doctor advised against red meat, but I have found no negative effects on my arthritis eating red meat.
    Anyone else have similar experiences, living with arthritis?
    I have osteoarthritis, I had my hip replaced in 2014. I used to compete in strongman, I deadlifted heavy all the time. I used to think lifting heavy "helped" my arthritis. I was in HUGE denial. It was part of the cause IMHO. I still lift, and "make gains", but I no longer put heavy weight on my pelvis because I know without a doubt it'll cause my other hip to break down faster and need to be replaced quicker ( I can't afford another hip replacement at least for another 5 years, have to make it last ). Honestly it took me a long time to get to where I am mentally now. hip replacement and stopping competing in strongman was very hard for me mentally ( not physically, that was the easy part ), but necessary to progress IMHO.

    I've found that diet can make a huge difference as well. Back when I was in pain, I know I wouldn't have listened to this advice, but I"m honestly pain free now and attribute it to my diet. Here it is.... I don't eat sugar, or anything with added sugar in it, none, absolutely none. And I don't eat pasta, bread, potatoes,... no starchy carbs at all, absolutely none. Maybe once a week I'll eat a little rice, that's it. It's "hard" at first, but now I much prefer it. It's a subtle difference at first, but now there's no way I'm going back now.
    Last edited by bigtallox; 11-07-2018 at 07:40 AM.
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