I just starting training a client with rheumatoid arthritis, and she is fine below the waist and with pushing movements, but the problem is in her wrists and fingers in particular. It bothers her to grasp things to perform pulling movements to train the back. I was wondering if you could provide some insight. Thanks in advance for your help.
I realize your question about rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is specifically about exercise, but I feel I must address a few other factors as well. RA is an autoimmune disease, which means essentially that your client's own immune system has turned against her and is attacking her joint tissues, causing them to be swollen, inflamed and painful. Like all disease, allopathic medicine has ignorantly treated this with powerfully toxic drugs such as steroids and other anti-inflammatories, which of course merely quiet the symptoms of the disease. This shunts the broken pathway(s) that caused it, allowing the disease to get worse. On top of that, the drugs themselves bring with them a host of ailments and disease. It has been said that 90% of all disease begins in the colon. This would suggest a strong link between disease and faulty nutrition. And with no surprise, in the year 2000, eight of the top 10 causes of death were related to nutrition!
If you truly want to help your client - and obviously you do - than I would seriously suggest placing more of a priority on her nutritional status. Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is a strong possibility here. LGS is an inflammatory state in the gut that allows for the passing of undigested food antigens through the gut wall into the blood via the portal vein. This is a bad thing, as the immune system must work overtime to clean up all of these antigens. As you might have guessed, eventually the immune system fatigues and fails. This activates what's known as the "compliment system" of killer enzymes in your body. These killer enzymes don't just attack the antigens; they also attack the tissues where the antigens hide (i.e., your joints) producing rheumatic systems! Leaky gut can afflict virtually anyone who has ever eaten processed foods for any length of time, taken any prescription meds for any length of time (particularly antibiotics) and/or been under any prolonged stress. Depending upon your genetic strengths/weaknesses (i.e., your biochemical individuality), LGS can cause/contribute to virtually any/all disease states.
Here are a few suggestions for your client and for your health as well:
- Four Day Rotation Diet
- In its most basic form, an individual eats food(s) no more often than every four days.
- This prevents immune system from being overworked by food sensitivities.
- Avoid Circadian Stress
- Circadian cycles are natural 24 hour physiological cycles that persist despite any absence of the external environment. An example would be the human body's 24 hour sleep/wake hormone cycles (cortisol and the H-P-A axis, etc.).
- Be in bed between 10pm and 6am for adequate physical and mental repair.
- Eat for Your Metabolic Type
- Your heredity dictates the ratios of carbs, proteins and fats one must eat for optimum health.
- Drink Water
- Drink half your bodyweight in ounces daily with a pinch of unrefined sea salt in each liter to avoid dehydration.
- Avoid tap water as Fluoride and Chlorine are extremely toxic to the body.
- Dehydration can cause pain in many joints of the body due to its water rationing system!
- Avoid Processed Foods
- Avoid 10,000 added food chemicals/toxins/poisons as well as dead nutrition.
- Faulty nutrition has clearly been shown to cause virtually every symptom/ailment known to man.
- Eat Organic When Possible
- Organic food is as much as 40 times more nutrient dense and free of toxins.
- Avoid NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, etc., as they are a primary cause of LGS. (see my Q&A article NSAIDs Danger)
- Regularly begin taking a high quality fish oil supplement high in Omega 3 (EPA & DHA) to help combat her inflammation as well as countless other benefits. I recommend "Carlson" brand fish oil/cod liver oil.
- Regularly begin taking a high quality pro-biotic to replace the positive flora in the gut which is so vital to health. I recommend "Garden of Life" brand which makes "Primal Defense."
- Eliminate all gluten (grains) and dairy for at least three weeks. If a positive benefit is noted, eliminate if for good.
- Eventually she must begin a detox program. Environmental toxins (i.e., pollution) are everywhere and are unavoidable. These toxins, combined with faulty nutrition, are the sole causes of all disease on earth. I would highly recommend your client - and yourself - read the books Pain Free In 6 Weeks and Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D. These books offer techniques that will heal your client once and for all, and not simply string her along with expensive medical drugs and stress! Technologies mentioned in these books that I believe your client must learn about include self-detoxification programs, the Far Inferred Sauna program and the QRS (Quantron Resonance System) technology. You can also schedule phone consultations with Dr. Rogers by calling 315-488-2856.
Regarding training, my suggestion is to be very diligent in your monitoring of her day-to-day status. Pain is never a good thing. She really should not be doing any isolated machine training as this will only encourage muscular imbalances, poor flexibility, poor posture and thus poor static/dynamic function, which all can increase her pain/discomfort levels. Your approach should be intelligently integrated with a good flexibility program as the cornerstone. You may already be doing this. If so, pardon the "lecture."
With the pain in her hands, one option that has come to mind may be to attach cables to her via cuffs so she does not have to grab with her hands. But please remember, if she is in that much pain, too much exercise may be self-defeating. Adhering to the above tips should have at least some positive outcomes to hopefully reduce her pain/discomfort.