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Rehabilitation

When is it too much?

03/01/2007

Question:

I have rheumatiod arthritis and taking Enbrel and MTX for it. I an 33 years old. Since I have been feeling so well with the meds I have been doing alot more exercise like walking. I tappered off Prednisone 2 week ago. I am back to being stiff 4-5 hours in the morning and get stiff very quickly. My nurse said that if I was stiff 2 hours after doing something that I did to much. I thought that it was if I had pain 2 hours after not just stiff. If I do something and rest for a while and then get up I am very stiff. Then I think that I have to do more to work out the stiffness. How can I tell that I am stiff and that I should walk around to get rid of it or stiff from over doing it? If I did continue to so what I am doing now is there any thing that I can do so that I would not be as stiff?

Answer:

Thank-you for your question; exercise is certainly important when you have RA. The general rule for exercise is that soreness is acceptable as long as it is not sustained for many days; sharp pain and/or pain that persists means that something may be wrong.

Given your circumstances, we would suggest that you work with your physician to obtain a physical therapy regimen;; the therapist can develop an appropriate program for you as well as providing you with some initial supervision to assure that it is being done in a safe, effective manner.

For more information:

Go to the Rehabilitation health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Stephen J Page, PhD Stephen J Page, PhD
Director of Research, Associate Professor
Drake Center
University of Cincinnati