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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the last several months, when I have tried to do my stretching "exercises" I actually get tighter and sore from simple stretching. I have great flexibility but this actually gets worse following repeated attempts at stretching --- as doctors have recommended to me --- but I feel allover worse in terms of everything! Has anyone else experienced this? This is very new and very strange for me. I have stretched rather routinely since I was a child (dancer and gymnast for many years) & actually rather enjoy doing it but am rapidly approaching giving up.

I'm just interested to hear others experience...
 

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Hi Maia

Don't know if this is of any use.

When I try to get into yoga poses that might stretch my muscles / tendons, etc. my yoga instructor puts pads and other supports in strategic places to PREVENT me from over stretching.

That is, I aim for the pose he demostrates, but he does not allow me to actually stretch into it. He prefers me to get as near as I can to the pose whilst remaining comfortable and positions pads so I can stay like that for a few minutes. Then I am to relax. Nothing more.

As the weeks go by I am getting closer to the poses without any strain on my muscles / joints / ligaments and tendons, so I'm sort of 'relaxing into the poses rather than actively stretching to the point where it is uncomfortable.

After positioning he always asks 'are you comfortable?" before he leaves me to settle into the pose. Sometimes I feel ok, but have the slightest pulling sensation somewhere and he always spots it and supports that part so it is not stretching.

As I say - I am getting closer and closer to the poses without real effort using this 'softly softly' approach.

I have a theory that my 'arthritic' back (I have scoliosis) means I am a bit 'mis- aligned', so when I think I am stretching equally I am not. This means I can pull my body further out of alignment when I stretch if there is nobody to watch and make sure I am moving safely, and this causes me pain. I have really 'stuffed my back up' a few times trying to do exercises on my own - simple upper body twists being particularly catastrophic.

I wonder if your athletic background might make you more determined to stretch slighlty beyond what would now be effective in the long run?

Rather than giving up, perhaps you could 'tone it down' a little, or try attending some sort of movement therapy with a knowledgable instructor with the time and ability to give you an individual assessment and program to get you back on track with safe effective independent exercising that will maintain your suppleness.

You might even try stretching in front of a big mirror to check you are correctly positioned.

Hope I'm not talking out of my botty, but I have been very surprised how different I feel following this gentle approach. Once upon a time I believed 'no pain = no gain'. It always seemed to work for me in the past - but not any more!

Good luck

Take care

:love:
 

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Hi Maia,

I previously did yoga without issue but have recently had to give up my pilates class as it was too much for me. It may be down to my recent flare or that Pilates is a bit more energetic than Yoga but even the simplest of stretches left me in discomfort for a few days. My muscles feel like they are burning from the inside out!

As you have always been flexible I'm hoping this is just a temporary thing for you. Do you feel like you are flaring slightly at the moment?

I hope you get back to where you were before.

Hugz, :hug:

Pam xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am definitely flaring at the moment :(

This seems to happen when I'm not exactly in a major flare though too. The strangest thing is I don't feel pain or even much of a stretch while I am stretching, but the next few days to even up to a week later I feel much tighter and sore everywhere. And this is the exact same stretches I've done all my life - in the exact same ways!

I think the idea to go to a real professional for assistance with this is a good one. Your yoga instructor sounds wonderful Alwin! I will call around and see what I can figure out for the fall - when my daughter is in preschool half time. I would love to give yoga a try - have always had an interest but feels a bit overwhelming to start it on my own.

Thanks for the tips and experience.
 

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Maia,

I find I need to do all my "stretches" real slow and gentle. I took ballet for many, many years as a child and have adapted some of those moves in with what I learned at the arthritis foundation water exercise class. When I am flaring I only do a couple minutes worth at a time, just enough to keep me from losing too much muscle tone. You might want to check out if the Arthritis Foundation has water classes near you, ours take place at our local YMCA indoor heated therapy pool. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe physical therapy for you, that is where I found that I could handle a recumbant bike and I have adapted a few of the stretches into my "routine" on my better days. Some Physical Therapy groups have heated water therapy pools they use as part of their treatment program.

Take care,
Karen
 

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Dear Maia

I can't help with the stretching problem but I am sorry you're flaring and hope you'll be feeling much better soon. I wonder if you have a check up scheduled to see if there are signs of anything untoward going on ? Chilblain type symptoms would certainly fit with an increase in disease activity

All the best
Clare
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, the Chilblain symptoms have eased now (usually last a week tops for me) but my fingertips are actually numb now. I think my hands got really bad because I held onto a cold steering wheel to drive one day - something I normally don't do but left gloves somewhere so didn't have a choice! Definitely an increase in disease activity and my next doctor appointment is early April with the rheumy.

Halfpint: Thank you so much for that! You made my day with that response! *lol*
 

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I've just done an intensive Active Pain Rehab course and was given stretches and exercises to do.

We were advised to do our stretches every day, regardless of how bad we felt, but not to overstretch and use towels, etc to limit how far you can stretch and give support...

This means that some days I can get my arms up straight, do full leg stretches, etc. Other days I look like a 90 year old woman and only go as far as is comfortable and apparently look completely daft :lol:

So from my experience don't think 'no pain no gain' think the opposite and let your body tell you what it can manage! Like Alwin, I've also got scoliosis and can't stand up straight for long at the best of times - but found having specialist help with how to stretch really helped and taught me what to do and what not to do...

I personally find if I don't do them for a couple of days, even when flaring, my stiffness and achiness gets worse - but then we are all different.

Sammy
 
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