Newly diagnosed with RA at 30: This is my story.

LarrJean Member Posts: 1
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis

Hi! I was diagnosed with RA just a month ago. I am a female, age 31. I am an occasional runner both road and trail and started joining running events this year. The goal was to get stronger and run longer miles. Then June of last year, I had a pain in my ankle that Ortho doc believed is injury. Kept telling me to just rest but pain never went away until I noticed it ached in other joints. That was the time I asked to be referred to a rheumatologist. And after blood works, I was officially diagnosed with RA. I was knocked. I thought my life is over, no more running, no more active lifestyle, all pain. I was depressed, which triggered the pain and stiffness in my joints. My pain is in the ankle, big toes, and now my right knee.

At the first visit with the rheumatologist, I asked her all my listed questions, and patiently answered each of them. She told me this disease shows up at child-bearing ages and women are at higher risk than men to have it. I was given MTX and celecoxib, but glad I had minimal pain so I don't take the Cel, and use fastum gel instead, which works well with me. Still early to say whether the meds work but I am having high hopes.

I still run but no more exerting that much effort, mostly jog to easy runs, until the meds finally start working (We hope they work for me) and I can increase mileage. PT also taught me to strengthen muscles to support joints. It's a long battle. Some days are good and some days there's pain, but I try to keep moving. Because of RA, I am looking into other activities like biking, pilates, dancing, and swimming. I've read one comment say "Motion is lotion". So let's keep moving. Listen to your body and adopt to what works best for you.


  • noddingtonpete
    noddingtonpete Moderator Posts: 826

    Hi @LarrJean and welcome to the Community. We are friendly and supportive and I hope that will be your experience as well.

    There are quite a few stories on here of members who used to run, got arthritis, got meds and eventually started running again, so don't give up hope. It will likely just take a little time for your medications to sort it out. I've put a bit of information in below which might help.

    Please keep posting and let us know how you are progressing.

    Best Wishes


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

  • Rina
    Rina Member Posts: 83

    Hi @LarrJean ‘ Motion is lotion’ I like that! It’s good to hear your story and your positivity. I was diagnosed with RA at 19, but thank goodness I didn’t realise what it was all about (this was a time before the internet and Dr Google!). It’s certainly changed my life and there have been ups and downs, but I still went to university, had a good career, brought up two children and have been able to continue hiking, which is something that has kept me sane. Life has been different, but still just as rewarding and fulfilling. I’m sure it will be the same for you, whichever direction it takes.

    Rina 😊

  • JenHB
    JenHB Member Posts: 130

    Hi, glad that you also have a supportive rheumatologist! I've found (and now use) a run-walk strategy which works well for me (you may find some of my other posts interesting as I've posted in the past about my journey and running)