Asked 8 years, 2 months ago

How does a runner/triathlete cope with Inflammatory Arthritis

I’ve been running since the early 1980s. Last summer I had arthroscopic knee surgery for severe chondromalacia (loss of cartilage) and two meniscal tears. I had been competing in duathlons and was named a USA Triathlon All-American. I stopped running after surgery, but since then I’ve been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I have two sausage digits, a finger and a toe, as well as other sore fingers, elbows and wrists. The rheumatologist also told me that I have fibromyalgia as well. I am currently weight training to keep the supporting muscles of my partially torn right shoulder strong. I take Enbrel, 50 mg once a week and just added 10 mg of methotrexate.

My rheumatologist recommends exercising by walking 30 minutes three times a week. I am currently cycling two to four times a week for one to one and a half hours, weight training twice a week, and walking 45 to 60 minutes the weeks when I cycle less. I don’t want to reduce my exercise load to less than this. I have already cut out running, which is my first love. The doctor thinks the exercise level I’m doing is making me sore. I think it’s helping to stay mobile. Of course, I do get sore; I always have. I could switch to water aerobics, though I was told not to swim due to the shoulder. I’m trying to listen to my body, but how do I know what level of exercise is reasonable?

Joan Wakefield
Rockville, MD


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