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ActiveMSers 06-01-2009 01:21 PM

Exercising while relapsing?
Going through an MS attack sucks. I just got dinged with one a couple weeks ago (and no steroids for another week). I'm still managing to exercise, but holy cow it's tricky. Fortunately my relapse didn't put me in the hospital or anything, but the leg strength is gone and arm strength is pretty pathetic. Who else is crazy enough to hit the gym when battling a relapse?

Oh, and my advice is don't ride a bike when you are relapsing. I was practically bonking just pedaling out of the driveway! But I still stubbornly did a half-hour ride before my jello legs finally gave out. Getting off your mountain bike with jello legs, I discovered, is near impossible. Yikes!

andersimp 06-02-2009 11:01 AM

You've gotta be kidding!
Dave - Off the bike and onto the couch! You need to WATCH some step aerobic videos and eat popcorn (works arm muscles as you life popcorn to mouth) or just surf channels (just like surfing only no shark danger)! Reframe your idea of calorie burning!

Relapse be-gone! And hey, that's one advantage of PPMS - we NEVER get relapses! Just downhill everyday (like downhill skiing only no snow!)

KristaH 06-04-2009 12:25 AM

Ah Dave, I feel ya! I've been fighting a relapse since February (sucky sucky!) and I still get out there every Friday and walk a mile on the Tramway trail. the worst is walking up the ramp to the bridge over Tramway, balance is pretty much totally gone so I use the crutches and get a total body workout. I feel that if I stop moving I'll never get going again. And Dr Ford has told me twice that he wants me to work through this relapse without the steroids since I've had them three times in the last year. :( Luckily its not bad enough to put me in the hospital, just make it very difficult to do anything.

Merganser 06-05-2009 04:01 PM

I feel for you. I remember reading many years ago that you should exercise through an exacerbation so you'll have some muscles left when it's over. Like KristaH says, if I stop moving I'll never get started again.

Slugger 07-01-2009 02:59 AM

I was so good last fall. I was sticking to my running plan, I looked great, I was active...and then January came. I had no energy, and no drive to work out. Eh, it's winter, I'll take a week off.

Four.months.later - I find out why. CT scan, MRI, all the fun stuff. At least I have an excuse for why I wasn't exercising. ;) But I tell ya, trying to get BACK in shape WHILE battling fatigue SUCKS! Don't do it! I never know if I'm totally zonked from fatigue or from a good workout. This stupid disease makes that awesome good I-worked-hard tired feeling into a nervous, is this a flare? worried feeling. Ugh.

I'm doing it, though. I may run on some seriously wobbly legs and the piddly little .4 mi uphill may force me to stop (*ahem*) times, but dammit, I made it to the top AND back down again! Woo-hoo! Dunno what I'll do if my vision goes. Guess I'll just throw on a bandana and pretend I'm practicing the blindfold run! :D

Bridget 07-08-2009 11:24 AM

Hi - this is Bridget - I'm back on the thread. I've been feeling great until about a week ago when I got zonked with fatigue (not a full relapse - just my old symptoms getting "louder" for a while). I normally run 4-5 miles a couple times a week. This past Sunday I was feeling totally unable to get out of bed so I did an experiment to see if my muscles were still able to work and be strong even though I felt so miserable. I started by taking a walk in the park; but 1/4 mile into it I still felt yucky and wasn't really getting any benefit from it. Then I tried running a bit - and still felt yucky overall; but my legs could carry me and I did about 4 miles, a little slower than normal; but still pretty good. So, for me, it seems that the fatigue is internal messed up nerve messages instead of actual physical tiredness.

Various neuros have told me 'yes, exercise' or 'cut back on exercise' during relapses - so I don't think there's any clear cut message out there on what we should do. I know I feel better if I do something cardio -- I have this idea that the repetative motion of running or biking helps my legs remember what to do. I wouldn't recommend road biking during a relapse given balance and vision situations being out of whack; but the spinning bikes in the gym are pretty good.

Slugger 07-09-2009 02:51 AM

Bridget, interesting that you see the difference between "nerve" fatigue and "physical" fatigue. I'm going to have to ask my body about that. Lately when I run, I get that super heavy, drained feeling in my legs and one step in front of another is tough. I had to push hard to get 3 miles in today, even though my plan was for 4. I'm training for the Mt Washington Road Race - 7.6 mi of ALL UPHILL! I'd better get over this leg fatigue quickly. ;)

I have noticed that since I've been back into being active every day, my twitches are lot more prominent. I sit at work all night and twitch-twitch-twitch. I figure it is just telling me I done good and worked dem muscles. :D Heck, they don't hurt, and the only thing they slow down is my internet-browsing, so I'm just amused by it and move on. :p

RunMS 07-22-2009 05:19 PM

My doctor said it was okay for me to run during a relapse as long as I wasn't having balance issues.

bjlokey 11-20-2010 01:34 PM

new dx run/walker with questions
ok a search on running found the site on exercising and relapses i guess the answer is yes maybe no :). I am just learning about this disease and am sort of lost. My symptoms are a blurry eye, leg tingling and cramps in left leg and burning sensation in right leg. The eye blurriness in gone, the cramps are gone but the tingling and occational burning sensation are still present. Does that mean I am still having a "flare up", permanent damage or just crazy. I have just finished a half marathon and plan or doing a marathon in Feb. During the half the tingling sensation intensity varied during the run walk and I went to extended walks when it increased but it did not go to cramps. Do other feel this? Should I be concerned? Should I press my doctor for more help on this? He said to just keep doing what I'm doing.

ActiveMSers 11-22-2010 06:24 PM

From my perspective, sounds like your doc is right: keep doing what you're doing. And I would say you are not in a flare. You'd know. I had both tingling and burning sensations (and cramps and a blurry eye), and they may stick around and they may disappear over time. For me, the tingles stuck, the Bengay feeling went away.

Also, symptoms may get amped up during exercise because of the heat, but that's not hurting you unless it causes you to fall or run into a parked car while your brain is daydreaming about why your leg has this stupid burning sensation. Only then, after you've plugged said car, will people think you are crazy. But right now, no, you are not crazy...

Keep us posted on your marathon!

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