Ant69 Member Posts: 2

Hi, thankyou for letting me join, I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis now for about 4 years, just wanted to ask , recently I have been sent for physio, but I am really disappointed with this, the guy who I'm seeing had me sat on the end of a bed, told me to cross my arms onto each shoulder, then lift one leg off the floor, then told me to stand up on my bad leg, (Arthritis in my right knee), I struggled like hell doing this exercise. Then told me to lay down on my side and lift my hips, it's impossible to be honest, I was in agony when I left the room. I'm wondering whether to let my rheumatologist know when I see her in 2 weeks time. He just keeps going on about my muscles, my muscles are not the problem, it's my joint. Has anyone else experienced anything like this.


  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 602

    Hello @Ant69 and welcome to the community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that that will be your experience as well.

    I understand that you have had rheumatoid arthritis for about 4 years and that physio has been painful. I would certainly suggest raising this with your rheumatologist. In the meantime have a look at our website as it contains a lot of useful information about arthritis, treatments and hints and tips. To help I've put a couple of links in below which might be of use.

    Please do keep posting and let us know how you are getting on and I am sure that others will connect with you to share their thoughts and experiences as well.

    With very best wishes


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,948

    I've had RA and OA for many years and don't know where I'd be without physio. I think, if the guy you saw, wasn't aware of your difficulties in doing the exercises, he should have been and should have modified them a little to g et you started. Little and often is a good way to begin. In fact, at times I've been given exercises that I thought wouldn't make a scrap of difference but by starting slowly and building up they really do.

    You may think that the problem is solely with your joints but it's not. If we keep our muscles in good nick they support the joints. This makes for less pain and slower deterioration. Slack muscles are no use to arthritic joints. They're like those 'wet lettuce' people who can't be leant on in a crisis.

    Read here about exercising with arthritis. Don't be put off by the big picture of gym bunnies at the top. Just start slowly with range of movement (ROM) and build up to the strengthening bit, maybe with weights. Weights can be improvised. I use tins in an old pair of oven glove wrapped round my ankle when doing straight leg raises.

    Good luck and let's know how you're getting on. Wil you see the physio again or not? Often it's just an appointment for them to show us what to do. The rest is up to us.

  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 73

    Hi Ant69

    When I went for my first Physio Appt. I was asked a bit about my background, how long I had been having symptoms. I was given a set of exercises and had to demonstrate them to see my reaction and adjust accordingly. I started off slowly and week on week gradually increased the amount I did and after about 3 sessions was signed off and told to keep doing them every day if possible ( any discomfort/pain then stop ). That was about 5 months ago and I try and do them most days . I am now feeling the benefit of this, but you have to be patient as it does take a while to feel any difference. I now understand that it is the strength in the muscles which helps support the knee joint.

    Keep persevering😊

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 45

    Hi Ant69,

    I’m 55 and have OA in lower spine. My doctor sent me for physio to the local hospital and at the GP practice before I had my OA diagnosis. Both physios gave me “ standard exercises “ that made no difference.When I complained I was referred to a specialist and then to a spinal specialist physio and everything changed. The specialist physio confirmed that the physio received so far was a waste of time. My specialist physio gave me a few exercises and the confidence to take up regular exercise again. It only took about 6-7 sessions and the reduction in day to day pain reduced dramatically. I was taking pain killers throughout the day and at night but now I mostly only take them at night. I do ballet, cycling and walking now. I think if you get the right physio and do the exercises advised then you should see some improvement. The problem is that a lot of physios are not experienced/ knowledgeable enough to make a difference.

    Complain if you need to and try and get to see a specialist physio for your diagnosis.

    Good luck


  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 45

  • nicholaj
    nicholaj Member Posts: 58

    Hi Debbie…what specifically were you given in the way of exercise for your spine?

    Ive got quite severe degeneration of my lower spine and not sure that the exercise my physio have given me are improving anything.

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 45

    Hiya Nichola

    There were quite a few different exercises.My back muscles had apparently gone into “protection “ mode and that was making my pain worse. The best exercise he gave me moved the tight muscles at the base of my spine. I will try to explain. So stand facing the back of a chair with feet together and straight legs and hold onto the back of the chair with both hands for balance. Straighten one leg behind you then turn your toe ,using your ankle,towards the leg you are standing on. Then lift the leg behind you just off the floor -I can then feel the tightness of my back muscles. Then do a circle with your toe so the top of the circle is an inch or so off the ground and the bottom of the circle is with your toe touching the ground. Do a few clockwise and anti-clockwise circles and then change legs. You should feel the movement of the deep muscles in your lower back. Perhaps ask your physio about this exercise before trying it as it is good for me but may not suit you. I do stretch and ballet classes. These have improved the flexibility of my back and improved my posture, strength and balance. My physio said the more I do in the day the better I will be as long as I am sensible and he was right. So I can cycle but if I stop to rest too long my back stiffens and the pain is bad when I set off again so rides of around 30 minutes with no stops are ok for me. Aerobics put me in bed for a day in pain but ballet is fine.

    I think we need to keep doing some form of exercise but it is trial and error to find something that works. But I think anything that you enjoy that strengthens the muscles around the spine and keeps them from becoming tight is good. I have been doing ballet, modern and stretch classes for 4 years and my flexibility is much better. Some days I really don’t want to do ballet if my back is bad when I get home from work. But I do it anyway, I sleep better afterwards and often find myself with less pain the next day.

    I hope you see some improvement soon, however it can take some time .

    Take care


Who's Online

+7 Guests