Need to start an exercise regimen

From my profile page:

I'm thirty seven and have had psoriasis for about eight years, PsA symptoms for about three. I was fairly sure PsA was the culprit for the pain in my right MTP joint and left hip, and a rheumatologist confirmed in April of 2013. The big surprise was the damage in both hands. I started methotrexate very shortly thereafter.

I had very few side effects at first, but now (late August) nausea has become a bit of a problem in spite of piling on the folic acid. The MTP continues to hurt, but not as much as before. The new problem spots are both hip and shoulders. On the plus side, my psoriasis symptoms are greatly improved.

It's becoming clear that I've got to get off my butt and start an exercise regimen. Can anyone recommend any resources on getting started?

You might want to have a visit with a physical therapist, where they can assess you and give you some exercises. Those will help strengthen and add flexibility, which will make you more able to choose another form of exercise later on.

I agree, PT and OT have helped me immensely and got me started. Then I joined a local arthritis group at a local gym in a "program or therapy pool". It is 88-92 degrees and we exercise in it. I found the class moved too fast for me so I now exercise in the same pool in the afternoons at my own pace. I think they are trying to make it aerobic for the OA patients. It felt like it was at a cha cha beat and I would be sore in my tendons the next day. I find it works better for me to do PT, ballet and yoga moves I have been taught. My doctor is concerned as we are all suppose to get aerobic activity. I told her the only time my heart beats faster is at a purse sale! I am such a bad old nurse......


michael in vermont said:

I told her the only time my heart beats faster is at a purse sale! I am such a bad old nurse......

I'm with the PT recommendation. They'll help you strengthen and stabilize the joints that are the worse. In the meantime, if you can walk or ride an exercise bike, that might be a good place to start.

I'm a frequent flyer with physical therapy. Definitely take the time to find someone who is able to work with you. Some offices are very focused on sports rehab, and may not understand your concerns as well.

It does depend a lot on where you are, how active your disease is, and what you have access to - I actually use a personal trainer who has had a lot of experience with clients with arthritis (most osteo but some inflammatory), and work out at a community gym. The good bit about the community part is that it has an extensive range of machines, which seem to be very good for conducting the very initial range-of-motion work where you really need some support because the joints are quite unstable (in my case I believe more due to lack of use than damage). At the start, I used most of the machines weightless (or almost), but 3 months later I'm really surprised by my progress so far (I was just trying to keep what I had - I truly didn't expect progress!).

The main thing, as most of the other posters say, is to find someone you can work in partnership with, who will listen to you - because unless you are lucky, there won't be lots of experts in it out there for you to tap into. If you have access to a PT though, I'd go with everyone else's recommendations for that as well.