Contributors to this thread:
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Archery
I just learned a few weeks ago that I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have only been on medication for a few weeks and am hoping that they will start to work soon. I am not currently able to draw my bow at 55lbs. Even if I could get it all the way back I am not sure how steady I would be. Has anyone dealt with this issue and what did you do to help?
I have been on meds for Rheumatoid Arthritis for a year and 7 months . Weaned down to minimum dose. Rheumatologist afraid to take me completely off meds,as I am doing so well. Original flare came day after meniscus surgery . A freak occurrence is all they say. LISTEN UP !!! Best thing I do is go to the gym 4 times a week. Still have a little pain in my bow arm. Joints X-Rayed and nothing bad shows up. Pain between shoulder joint and elbow. Shooting 55 lbs . Occasionally shoot 65 , but if I lay off shooting 55 lbs a few days ,I cannot shoot 65 lbs . I was almost a year , before I could shoot at 50 lbs. I firmly believe in the exercise. I do there sets of 10 ,on each machine . Usually do 10 to 12 different exercises. Started out with what was comfortable and have gradually increased. Not trying to look like a muscle man , just to be able to go do what want . My wife goes to the gym with me . Just part of our routine . My phone records my steps . I do not take it inside the gym . Averaging over 10,000 steps a day .
I am 66 yrs . When the RA flare hit, I thought my bow hunting days were over . I have people tell me they have osteoarthritis, I tell them I do to , but to learn about RA . A completely different issue .
RA is treatable. You need to take an active role in your treatment. There are amazing medications that can help your keep your disease activity managed. As a matter of fact, the autoimmune medications available today are game changers. I would suggest getting your doctor to have a Vectra test run on your consults, even if they say it's not necessary.
I have been selling into Rheumatology for 13 years, there aren't enough of them and if I'm being honest, there are some I would trust, and others that are practicing that exact same way they were in 1993. Read reviews, make sure the provider is talking to you about being collaborative and working together. TAKE YOUR MEDS! Many RA patients who choose to ignore their doc can lose joint function in less than a year. Not to mention any autoimmune disease, including RA, greatly increases your risk of heart attack or stroke, particularly if you do not have your disease activity under control.
IDK about archery, but I hear stories everyday about people doing amazing things with RA. Unfortunately I also see and hear about stubborn patients that can't button their shirt. Take it seriously is my advice.
I woke up one day in college and felt awful... the onset of arthritis at the age of 20. I suffered with it for almost 2 decades until I could no longer play catch with my children. I always resisted my rheumatologists advice to try medication due to the side effects, but this disease was robbing me of life. I agreed to try Enbrel, a weekly self administered shot. It has changed my life, reducing the pain and swelling by 75%. A good diet and exercise plan is an absolute must as well. Find a good rheumatologist and listen to him/her. Good luck!
Luckily I work for the company that makes Humira which is the drug along with Methotrexate that I take. The Rheumatologist that I see said that it would take a few months to get the dosage correct. I am hoping the pain subsides soon. Wisconsin Archery season opens Sept 17th. Only 3 months away!
I can't stress enough, RA effects your joints, but it GREATLY increases your cardiovascular risk if you don't manage it.
Good luck, Humira is an amazing drug. FYI the efficacy of these TNFs is often finite, with patients needing to change after time. If it works and you start to feel $hitty in a few years get that Vectra test run.