Exercise?! How??

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Hi all. Feeling run down and frustrated lately. Since my recent diagnosis of OA in my hips, I’m waiting to go on the list for cortisone injection and then replacement. I realise I have to stay fit and build up flexibility and muscle tone to improve recovery from the operation (when it eventually happens). I read the exercise sheet for OA in hips on this site, but am increasingly finding them too painful to do, and the suggestion to get some aerobic exercise each week just made me laugh. It’s all I can do to walk down the road to the shops, and I have to carefully plan to minimise the number of times I have to go up the stairs, and it’s getting worse every day.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions?

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  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
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    Hi Lilymary
    I have had both my hips replaced so I know the pain or ar least some of it ..first of all I am so glad I had them done..has for exercising ,I just did more walking even with my stick or crutches..my muscles were in decent condition as I had gone to the gym for many years..just do what you can even if it just gentle stretching .
    Good luck with the injections..any questions just ask away x
    Love
    Barbara
  • Mikeyd
    Mikeyd Member Posts: 1
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    I know how you feel I have OA in my hips as well. My two passions in life are motorcycling and cycling but I cannot do either any more. At 58 I feel over the hill already.
  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 691
    edited 3. Aug 2020, 13:25
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    Hi @Mikeyd and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum.

    I’m sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with OA in your hips. I am a similar age to you and have OA of the lower spine which also limits my sporting pursuits.

    If you haven’t already browsed our main website then you may find some useful information here https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis-oa-of-the-hip/

    Please do get involved in the various forum dialogues which I hope you find beneficial.

    If you feel the need to speak with someone then you can call our free Helpline on 0800 5200 520, or email helpline@versusarthritis.org (Mon - Fri 9:00am – 8:00pm).

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,466
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    I find that non weight bearing exercise works well. Don’t let yourself be fooled into trying to do too much, small steps and they all add up.

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    I know how you feel mate, I am 61 and was a keen biker. I had to stop riding several years ago after I reached for the clutch and my hand gave way causing it to slip and nearly throw me off. I went from that to an automatic trike which was OK for a couple of years until I could no longer hold the handlebars without a lot of pain which left me with just a tin box until the DVLA took my licence away last October on health grounds. Now I am left with my wheelchair and mobility scooter.

  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,466
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    I couldn’t sit upright on mine or lean on my wrists despite it being a tourer with a upright position. I went for a 100 mile ride and had to keep stopping, the return trip was worse, I tried a shorter trip a few days later with the same results.

    I waited a few weeks but the decision had to be made, the local shop made it easy for me by offering what I wanted without a fuss, I felt distraught.

    What next, apart from more room in my garage? I used to have an argument with myself about what to take out, car, motorbike or pushbike, the car or m/bike used to win but over the last two years I make the time and use my electric bike more and although I’ve cycled since I was little, I consider myself fitter now and don’t think twice about cycling for a few miles, especially in the summer when all the tourists are around and town is chockablock. This lockdown is heaven at the moment, NO CARS! The result is positive for me despite being forced to make a decision.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    I'm so sorry to hear how people's passions and outdoor activities have been curtailed by this wretched condition. I wish had a magic wand to make a difference. I guess all we mere mortals can do is fund the research, and follow doctor's advice, and try to find new interests.

    Thanks for the advice to "do what I can". I'm so lucky that I live in a small village with basic amenities, and a choice of gentle walks (as well as big ones that I can no longer do). I was told to rest for 2 weeks so that my hip can settle down again, and do my exercises. TBF I haven't been doing much, just a little gardening and a few shortish walks. But I've seen no improvement, and if anything my hip is just gradually getting worse, and has started making horrible noises at me. 3 months ago I was fine, now this. Can't believe how fast it's got so bad. The xrays didn't reveal any clues as to why.

    Do you think it would be ok to just ignore the pain as much as possible and go for occasional walks anyway, so long as the pain doesn't get too bad? I can't see that it's going to make my hip any worse...?

    Meanwhile maybe I'll try to do as many of the exercises as I can without it hurting, there just seems to be less and less of them as days go by. 🙁

  • jooms
    jooms Member Posts: 39
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    The only treatment I have been provided over 3+ years are pain killers and sheets of exercises. I was told once "No pain, no gain".

    Knee arthritis

    I fail to see how muscle strength is going to help joints. I presented with knee pain and inflammation after a 2 day hike and I have assumed that this particular walk was a bit more demanding than my usual walks and that weight and distance ie exercise were the cause. Since then I have discovered that the longer that I remain vertical the worse the pain is. Pain is a sign of inflammation. Inflammation is a cause of further cartilage damage.

    While maintaining a horizontal position for too long is not good for heart or muscles it does seem to ease pain on the legs. Perhaps some form of exercise that avoids pressure/ weight on the joints is best? Swimming and cycling have been suggested to me.

    I

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    I am trying to get referred to a hydro therapy pool, maybe that will help. I spent a couple of days on the sofa this week, but did a bit of shopping today involving just walking round the supermarket leaning on the trolley, and I’m back to square one 🙁. I can’t afford to just give in to it, but I’m running out of ideas.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
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    I exercise daily but not in a gym-bunny way. Cycling and swimming are out for various arthritis-related reasons but resistance work and walking are not. The resistance works keeps my muscles stronger and more flexible to better support the joints and has definitely improved my overall stamina. The walking is tough because I do not use my aids but it is necessary for my overall health, posture, positivity. While my tea brews I do at least 200 steps either round the kitchen or up and down the hall, or raise myself up and down on tiptoes for two minutes, or use my resistance bands doubled round my ankles and stick my legs alternately out sideways to keep my lateral hip ROM as full as possible. Henry Ford had it right: 'Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right.' DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
    edited 21. May 2020, 17:48
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    Thanks Dreamdaisy, I'll try a few of those, but I'm really struggling right now.

  • Yorkshire1
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    @jooms
    "Pain is a sign of inflammation. Inflammation is a cause of further cartilage damage." - Interesting point. Be good to know an answer to the playoff between benefits of exercise and damage this may do. All the info on this seems to be exercise is good. My mate said yesterday a therapist hes seeing for bad knees says use it or lose it . Makes sense. I want to exercise more but the pain the next morning is bad so I am currently walking maybe once or twice a week.
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
    edited 31. May 2020, 21:40
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    I have no idea whether my hip is getting worse anyway, or whether the gardening and gentle walks are doing more harm than good. All I know is that it hurts more and more each day, and I have no idea why. It has now got to the point that even sitting on the toilet seat hurts, (sorry, tmi!), sitting at the dining table hurts, and there is no longer a comfortable position in bed, just a “least painful” option, even with various cushions propping me up, and which bring their own battles in the middle of the night. Just the act of getting into bed gets more complicated every day, trying to work out a way that doesn’t leave me grunting and gasping with pain. There are no proscribed hip exercises I can do that don’t hurt, I feel like I’m heading into a cul-de-sac. No treatment on the horizon thanks to Covid. Sorry, feeling very fed up. I even managed to run down the battery on my TENS machine by mistake. 🙄

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    It is a case of "horses for courses", i.e. IF you can exercise without it causing pain or making your condition worse then it is worthwhile. I have widespread OA, Degenerative facet joint disease and other problems; I have been referred to physio on 3 occasions over the past few years and each time the physio has said that there is nothing they can do for me. I used to have one to one pilates sessions and in the end the instructor refused to allow me to continue as she could hear my bones grating on each other ( it sounded a lot worse from my point of view!). I used to be as fit as a flea, ex-forces: running, rugby, swimming, weight training, Ju Jutsu, Aikido, cycling etc; now at 62 crippled, on crutches/in wheelchair and unable to do anything without an increase in pain despite being on Morphine. Trust me if there was any way I could do any exercise to help me I would but we have to accept that some of us can and some of us can't. I find the continued advice to exercise quite depressing as some of us are simply unable.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
    edited 1. Jun 2020, 09:30
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    Sending you a virtual hug Mike: That sounds really pants. At least you gave the exercise thing your best shot

  • MoWW
    MoWW Member Posts: 74
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    It can be very difficult finding an exercise that suits you. I have pasted a link to Tai chi, this gentle form of exercise can be done seated as well as standing. https://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/free-tai-chi-lessons-from-dr-paul-lam/

    In addition Escape pain (Enabling Self-management and Coping with Arthritic Pain using Exercise), https://www.versusarthritis.org/news/2020/january/moving-more-with-the-escape-pain-project/

    Hope you find it useful.

    Mo

  • MarzMac
    MarzMac Member Posts: 47
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    I found a new area on our website this morning, which I thought might be relevant for this conversation https://www.versusarthritis.org/news/2020/april/coronavirus-and-how-to-manage-your-pain-at-home/. Similar to the information on ESCAPE Pain, the evidence suggests that gradually building up movement can reduce many of the symptoms of osteoarthritis including pain.

    I also searched for information relating to research on exercise and I found this page https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/healthcare-professionals/network-news/june-2019-network-news/which-types-of-exercise-are-best-for-the-treatment-of-osteoarthritis/.

    I hope some of this info is helpful.

    MarzMac

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    Seated Tai Chi was suggested in the past however there are two issues, firstly I cannot sit upright without being in increased pain and secondly there are no such classes in Cornwall!

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    Thank you Mo and MarzMac, I’ll have a look at those.

    There is a “normal” tai chi class in our area, but looking at some of the movements I realised my hips aren’t up to that. I’m having to give up the yin yoga and gentle pilates classes, (which have up till now kept my body moving while I had a 3 year dose of mild ME), as I’ll basically just be lying there waiting for them to come up with a position I can actually do,

  • distantshores
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    Nordic walking is very good exercise for the joints. I was doing a lot until I had my accident but it definitely benefited my hips. The poles give you support and it is also a full body work out. It is best to find an introductory class to begin with and do some group walks and then you can buy your own poles and go out on your own. - of course all group classes are off at the moment but as it is outdoor activity I think they will soon start up again.

    I have just started again and this time I am determined to take it slowly with very short walks and build up hopefully. Google Nordic walking there is a lot of information online.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    Thanks DS, but all I can manage is a Nordic shuffle right now, and that’s with a stick. Striding our really hurts my hip 🙁
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992
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    I did a lot of exercise yesterday, as usual, I hobbled from the lounge to the kitchen on my crutches at least 10 times to make a brew and back again! ☕️ Wish the cat would learn to do it.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    I think cats deliberately decided not to evolve opposable thumbs to keep the balance of power between slave and master in their control.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,489
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    aha!

    Lilymary this little chap (my nephew and niece in law's rescue) is called Tommy Thumb and he does indeed have thumbs!!

    Sorry for hijacking the exercise thread but for what it's worth exercise needs to be done even if it's only range of movement exercises on the worst days. I also believe in the 'use it or loose it philosophy'.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742
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    Haha! But I bet he still doesn’t help around the house!

    the range of exercises I am able to do without pain decreases almost daily, so I just View any movement as a bonus, be it shopping, in the garden, working or pottering around the house. The garden in particular often puts me into weird poses reaching for weeds or pruning, so I get a little stretching and strengthening exercise in without realising. Sadly I have realised I will have to give up my pilates and yoga classes 😢😢😢 as I will just be lying there waiting for a movement I can actually do without helping in pain 😢