Good news, bad news. Bad news, my pain has returned a bit. I was seeing great improvement at the beginning of my treatments and the last few weeks or so it’s been back. The achilles tendonitis has been the worst. I am back to occasionally wearing the boot at night when I sleep when the pain is particularly terrible.
I had a follow-up appointment with my rheumatologist yesterday and I got bloodwork to check for antibodies. Sometimes your body can start making antibodies to the medicine and it will stop working. That means you need to switch to something else (for me, next step is Humira).
The good news: there are a TON of medications out there to try, so all is not lost. But I am definitely feeling defeated. If the bloodwork comes back and I am not making antibodies, we are going to try a higher dose and maybe more frequent infusions instead of every 8 weeks.
When I think back to the “old days” I would work out despite injury. I’d find a way. The first time I had Achilles tendinitis, I was in a big boot for 2 weeks. I still went swimming. I just used the buoy so I didn’t kick my legs. But maybe I should have just rested. Rinse and repeat with every single injury I’ve ever had. I found a way to workout. It probably made injuries last longer, too.
I am trying to get away from that bad habit and rest when I hurt. Or do something else. Like the other day I was in pain and knew I couldn’t do any kind of traditional working out, so I just worked in my garden. It didn’t cause pain.
I wanted to share some exercises that are good to do if you are feeling some pain in some area of the body. Most of these are PT exercises. They will help with building strength.
Sit to Stand
You may look at the video of this exercise and think it’s too easy, but honestly if you have any kind of knee issues and squats hurt, this is a great way to try and build up the strength without pain. When I was trying to get back into working out after my hip labrum tear last year, I couldn’t do most things. Squats were definitely a no-no. They hurt like hell. My hip was just not going to do that! But I tried doing this instead and I was eventually able to work back up to being able to do regular squats.
You can see a quick video here.
Side Steps with Band
I’ve been doing this in the gym as part of my workout for years. It’s also one of the exercises my PT has always emphasized. It targets glutes & hip flexors and also involves calves and hamstrings and quadriceps. For me, years of knee issues (which I now know was partly arthritis) was also caused by weakness in my body. My glutes have been historically weak–common for runners! And that leads to more injuries.
I bought these bands a few years ago and I like them a lot better than the cheap ones the PT gave me. They are much more comfortable and easy to use!
You can watch a video here.
Standing IT Band Stretch
This one is a really good stretch that can help with range of motion. If you need more balance support, stand against a wall.
These are a good alternative! They are good if you are a beginner, if you have knee problems or back or shoulder problems that make regular pushups difficult to do.