async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: 11 Must-Have Items for Runners with Arthritis

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

11 Must-Have Items for Runners with Arthritis

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

While it might seem counterintuitive to have rheumatoid arthritis and be a long distance runner, there are many of us with RA who manage to keep on running. I was a runner for many years before I was diagnosed with RA. While I've had my struggles with disease flares and joint pain, I've made it work. So many people have told me that running is going to destroy my knees, but my believe has always been that arthritis is going to ruin my knees, not running. Research backs me up on this. As long as this body lets me run, I'm going to do it.

It's Arthritis Awareness Month and I'm sharing some favorite items that keep us arthritis warriors moving. I'm a member of 2 very positive and motivating Facebook groups, Runners with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Athletes Beating Rheumatoid Arthritis. I polled both groups and asked the members to share some of their favorite items that help them manage RA while they keep on running.



Lock Laces have long been a favorite product of mine. Anything that involves fine motor movements of my hands causes cramping and sometimes, I struggle to do simple things like tie my shoes. Lock Laces are easy to install and once they are in, you just slip your feet into your shoes and tighten the lock on the laces. They don't come loose and there's no need to do any adjusting when you're running. Lock Laces come in regular and elastic; there is also a reflective option. There are a variety of colors. There are other brands but none are as easy to install as Lock Laces.


Oofos are an overwhelming favorite of both groups, both for comfort and support. I have a couple of pairs of Oofos flip flops and they are the most comfortable footwear I own. When I'm not running or working, I'm wearing my Oofos. It's hard to believe something so comfortable could be so supportive.


Lululemon Enlite running bra. Recently, I participated in a Lululemon challenge on Strava and received a 25% off coupon. I've been looking for a new running bra and wanted one that didn't chafe, had a front zipper (back hooks can be a struggle for me), and was completely supportive. I decided to try the Enlite and I am in love. It's seamless, it's smooth, and it's so attractive, you could wear it alone (you can, I won't). The Enlite comes in sizes A-E. The best part is the removal--no shimmying a sweaty bra over your head!

Orthotics. There are a variety of orthotics that runners recommend. My personal favorite are the Spenco Soft Orthotics, recommended by my sports medicine physician. Other RA runners prefer Superfeet. Whatever brand you prefer, orthotics provide arch support and can help with impact.

CW-X Stabilyx Tights provide compression and joint support with strategically placed panels of fabric. I have a pair of CWX tights and I love them. So do my fellow RA group runners. There are a variety of styles and fabrics.


Foam Roller. Multiple people mentioned their foam roller, which really should be in every runner's toolbox, not just people with arthritis. Foam rolling provides deep tissue massage and fascial release, which can help ease muscle and joint pain and tightness. My personal favorite is my Trigger Point Foam Roller.

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Epsom Salts. Does anything feel better than an epsom salt bath? My personal preference is lavender but there are so many varieties to choose from! Epsom salts are made from magnesium, which is purported to help relax tight muscles. There's no science to support this, but an epsom salt bath won't hurt and sure seems to help!

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Supportive Running Shoes. This was a tough category because who do you trust with shoe recommendations? I will tell you that many of my fellow RA warriors love HOKA One Cliftons and Altra running shoes. The HOKAs are super cushioned and the Altras have a wide toe box, which were features noted by the runners who recommended these shoes. I've never run in either brand. My advice is that if you don't know what shoes to buy, you should go to a running store and be fitted professsionally.

Kinesio Tape. Runners everywhere, arthritic or not, love kinesio tape. The tape provides support and compression to joints and muscles and is used by physical therapists as part of treatment. There's some pretty good evidence for knee arthrtitis and kinesio tape has been used on the hand joints of RA patients with success. There are many different brands--two of the most popular brands are KT tape and RockTape. I've used both brands for a variety of issues. My physical therapist used Leukotape for the McConnell taping technique on my knee. This tape requires a base tape to be applied underneath it because it is so strong it can tear the skin. There are lots of YouTube videos on techniques for taping all different areas and I recommend checking one for your specific issue before you apply tape for the best results.

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Topical Pain Relief products Everyone seems to have their favorite pain relief rubs--the most mentioned product in the groups was Biofreeze. I like Biofreeze but my personal favorite is doTerra Deep Blue Rub. I've also tried and liked China Gel.

Omron TENS. I have been trialing Omron's Max Power Relief Tens Unit and Omron's Focus TENS therapy for Knee devices. I've never used a TENS device before but as a nurse, I've been familiar with these devices for years. I'm finding good relief for my knee pain as well as my low back pain since starting to use both devices. They are safe and there are no known side effects. You can read more here.


For those of us with RA who are able to run, it's great to have so many items that can help us keep moving. Thanks to all the RA warriors out there who keep showing the rest of us that this disease isn't going to define us!


RA warriors, what are your must-have items when you're getting ready to run? /via @oldrunningmom @OMRONhealthUS @curearthritis #painrelief #healthcareselfcare #arthritis #arthritisawarenessmonth #curearthritis #running #runchat


What are your go-to items that keep you moving? Did I miss anything? Please let me know. I'll add it to the list!

I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics and
with the Runners' Roundup: DebbieDeborahJenRachelSandra, and Lisa.

 

39 comments :

  1. You know I love my tape, my Deep Blue Rub (which thankfully I don't need often) & my trigger point roller!

    Interesting that you included a bra in there. Luckily I'm small enough on top that it's not a big issue at all for me.

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    1. A lot of us with RA have trouble fastening bras due too the stiffness and decreased mobility in our hands. It's a pretty big issue.

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  2. I've run in both Hoka and Altra and wow! Two totally different animals there. Shoe preferences are so personal.

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    1. Isn't that the truth? But I see so many people asking for shoe recommendations and these brands keep popping up.

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  3. I need to get the lock laces for the hubby. He's not an RA sufferer, but we have to stop (at least twice) on every walk so he can retie his shoes LOL And the Oofos...pure bliss!!!

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  4. I have foot issues so I am a big fan of topial gels, OOFOS, a good shoes.


    and ice packs!!

    Naproxen.

    Wine lol

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  5. Hey tell me more about how that bra fits. Their website indicates they don't make a size that fits me, which is hard to believe. I'm a 30DD, so I normally need bras with adjustable straps and hooks or some way to take in the chest band. So spill the beans, I've got that same 25% off coupon burning a hole in my email!

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    1. It's a little snug, so I bet you could do a 32 DD! I'm going to post a full review in a couple of weeks. It's amazing!

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  6. I absolutely love Oofos. I love them so much that I crammed them in my suitcase for the Chicago Marathon so that I could slip them on after the race. I knew that my feet would appreciate them on the mile long walk back to the hotel and I was right!

    I love KT tape too. I use it on my knees, lower back and hip for long runs and it really helps.

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    1. I just love my Oofos! I always pack them in my race bag to slip on after a long race.

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  7. Your list of items really make me aware of how difficult life can be with RA. Even seemingly simple tasks like tying shoe laces.
    I like wearing Birkenstocks, but now I am not sure if I should try the Oofos, too. Everyone is saying such good things about them. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. Oofos are completely different than Birkenstocks. I like those too.

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  8. I'm a fan of PR Soles. I also have a pair of Crocs (yes, Crocs) the "Reviva Slide" that are very supportive. I've also worn Oofos.

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    1. I haven't heard of PR soles! I'll have to check them out.

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  9. Those lock laces look interesting. Maybe someday I'll try them out!

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  10. All about the epsom salts and the Oofos. This is a great list for all runners. Thanks for linking up!

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  11. I need to check out that Lululemon sports bra. I'm so tired of struggling to get out of sweaty bras.
    I love lavender Epson salts. I use it in the hot tub (not sure if I'm supposed to but the water hasn't turned green yet) ;-)

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    1. I am going to do a full review of the bra in a couple of weeks. It's my new favorite thing!

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  12. I have been wanting to try lock laces for awhile! These all look like great products. Im glad you found some things that help you deal with the struggles of RA. Alot of these products can be useful to all runners!

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    1. I agree! I'm happy to have found things that make it easier for RA runners to keep on moving.

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  13. Bodywork - Ortho For Sure - Acupressure And Puncture - And There Is A Long List Of Teas, Minerals, And Vitamins To Seek Out - Have A Wonderful Holiday Weekend

    Cheers

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    1. The list is too long! Which I why I just focused on products for this post.

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  14. I love your tips Wendy. Lock laces seem like a great idea and a sports bra that zips in front. They can be so hard to wrestle out of at times!

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  15. I think this is a great list for all runners! I love my Oofos and am a long-time fan of Lock Laces. You have reminded me that I need to buy a new foam roller.

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  16. This is great!

    Also, I am so jealous of your shoes! I think they are so cute and I'm sure they brighten your day when you wear them.

    I could never get on board with Epsom salts (they BURN!), but I love the Lock laces. They are great for triathlons.

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    1. I got another new pair of Adrenalines and they will make me happy too!

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  17. First of all, I love your shoes! Secondly, I’ll have to check out that bra...some days it’s a struggle to be reaching back to get everything hooked. Thanks for the suggestions/recommendations.

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    1. Brooks really has upped their shoe game! I just got another cute pair. They make me happy.

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  18. I don't have RA but regular old (<-- literally :-) ) osteo arthritis presents many pain and stiffness problems. I need to get lock laces and expecially, try that Lulu bra. Pulling that old sports bra over my head gets harder and harder!

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    1. I just love that bra and I'll be posting a review in a couple of weeks! I can't believe I'm giving Lulu free publicity but there you go.

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  19. It's great how you have found gear that works so well for you! I really should get some Oofos, especially since my feet are my weak area.

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    1. I can't believe you don't have Oofos! They are truly the best, especially after a long run or hard race.

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  20. You have so many great products! I love my OOFOS and have used Lock Laces as well. I am going to reach out to you because I have a new pair of CW-X Compression Tights that I don't use. Perhaps you can use them or know someone else that can use them. I've used both KT Tape and RockTape but find the latter to last longer.


    Thank you for linking up with us!

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