Author Topic: Sjogren's and Exercise  (Read 8219 times)


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Sjogren's and Exercise
« on: February 27, 2011, 08:01:40 AM »
I finally saw the Rheumatologist for the first time.  I have Sjogren's for sure and also fibromyalgia.  He put me on hydroxychloroquine 200 mg/twice a day.  A generic of Voltaren 75 mg/twice a day for pain, and a generic of Flexeril at night to help me sleep.  The Flexeril hasn't worked the two night I tried it, and something is making my left ear feel like there's an engine running in it and I can't hear well.

Everything I've read about Fibromy is that exercise is the best medicine for pain, mood, and sleep.

How does that work with Sjogren's?  I haven't read anything that says that making yourself exercise helps with Sjogren's.  I'm exhausted all the time.  I used to walk 3 - 4 miles every morning before school, and now I can barely get 7 min on my treadmill.

Should I push myself?

thanks for everyone's input!

Joe S.

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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 08:14:02 AM »
With fibromyalgia, your typical exercise may be too much and of the wrong kind. Before I got fibro, I lifted weights several times per day (150-200lbs) and did short speed walking hikes of 10 to 20 miles per day. This is the wrong exercise for fibro. Range of motion, Tai Chi and isometrics are much better for you. With the pain support group we had a number of people speak to us on these subjects and provide us with demonstrations.
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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 08:19:43 AM »
Hi rhendat  :)

Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) can take up to six months to work although many people notice a difference earlier than that. Until it 'kicks' in do gentle exercise is short bursts and rest inbetween times.

I have a friend with SjS, lupus and RA and she goes to the gym about 3 or 4 times a week. She was given an exercise plan to follow and she's found it very beneficial and feels the benifit of it. I, personally, don't know how she does it but she says she feels she has more energy now than when she started out. She was on Plaquenil for a while before she signed up to the gym though.

Hope the Plaq works for you. Always take it with food!

Take care - Scottie  :)   (our home page)   (find our chat times here!)  (way to chat + nickname and #Sjogrensworld)

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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 08:43:19 AM »
Dear rhendat,

My Rheumy has told me that he has found his Sjogren's patients benefit from regular exercise.  When we initially spoke about this he did acknowledge that it sounds counter-intuitive considering how exhausted and weak I was.  He also cautioned me on pushing myself, so I would be very careful with this.

My Rheumy's suggestion was to perform an exercise, any exercise, that I enjoyed.  Start slowly and build up gradually.  I began walking for 5 minutes each day and have now increased this to 30 minutes on most days.  It has taken me six months to do this.  I have a bit more energy, brain fog has lifted, and my balance has improved.

It hasn't been easy.  I, like you, could barely walk at the first.  But I persisted and listened to my body.  And for me, there has been a significant pay off.
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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 01:12:40 PM »
Hi - someone else recently asked a similar question - Here's that thread, Slow and easy seems to be the concensus on how to proceed.

I'm currently in physical therapy, and overdid yesterday, and am really paying for it today. By overdid, in my case, it was 10 reps of some simple stretching exercises, but I'm starting from a pretty bad point.

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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 09:01:18 PM »
Exercise also works on the brains neurotransmitter
Here is a brief article from the Mayo Clinic.

Indulge in a brisk walk for a healthy dose of serotonin and dopamine. Walking provides a wonderful opportunity to think clearly about daily challenges well as, to stop thinking and just be! Both serotonin and dopamine are released while you walk. Like serotonin, dopamine also helps you to relax, but more than anything else, a dose of it will allow you to focus, intently. If you exercise long enough you may release some endorphins for a euphoric feeling, to boot! That is why after working out for at least 30 minutes, you feel happy, euphoric, yet very clear-minded. Go on a hike, get on a bike, or do something you love that gets you in motion using your major muscle groups, for at least 20-30 minutes. Break it up into 10 minute workouts, in the beginning, if you must. You will soon discover movement is the answer to many of your obstacles.

If you wear headphones in a safe walking place this will help raise the level of these "good" neurotransmitter more.
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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2011, 09:27:03 PM »
Hi- I also have that "wonderful" Fibromyalgia/Sjogren's combo.  ;) Along with some "unspecified arthritis" according to the rhuemy.

I think how and when to exercise has been one of the toughest questions for myself. As quietdynamics wrote, "movement boosts serotonin" ;that is true.  However, on days when I can hardly get out of bed because of back and joint pain and stiffness, I'm not on my way out to take a long walk. If you can, that's great.
Personally, I've come to the point of doing what I can when I can. I can't schedule anything since I never know what I'll feel like from one day to the next. A few days ago, it was warm and sunny here in Kentucky and my husband and I took our dog for a walk. I was a little stiff, but got started and we went around 3 blocks. He and I were both amazed I could do so! And it felt good.
Today, it's rainy and I hurt. Making dinner, a load of laundry and cleaning up the dishes have whipped my butt.

I would advise not to push yourself too far. If you do too much one day when you feel good, you could feel awful for days after. Best advice is to start with something gentle; a short walk, a few stretches, etc. and see how you feel. It takes some time, but you will learn what your body can handle. Everyone is different.

I hope this helps a bit.

Take care,


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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2011, 04:16:52 AM »
Thank you, Everyone!

I think I'll take it easy and start slow. 


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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2011, 07:38:34 AM »
I haven't been able to exercise at all.
Even doing the grocery shopping is a lot for me now.
(I passed this task over to my husband).
Just can't do it.  Muscles feel too weak.
And if I walk around,(like at a mall) my legs hurt so bad for two days I have to stay in bed.


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Re: Sjogren's and Exercise
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2011, 01:36:56 AM »
You're welcome. Slow and easy may be the way to go for a start. Just listen to your body.  ;)

I'm sorry to hear you're having these problems. Sounds like you have had a tough time of it lately. I was unable to do almost anything at all of last Feb. and March. I can try to understand your situation somewhat. My wishes for you to have some recovery and my prayers are with you.