I was diagnosed with Rheumatiod arthritis (RA) when I was 34 years old and my second child was 8 months old. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with an unknown cause and no cure. My body attacks itself, specifically my joints and it targets the lining of the joints which causes inflammation, pain and damage to the joint. I went from being a happily married Mum of 2 and nursing part time, to someone with acute pain, multiple treatments occurring and a life faced with RA and very certainly an unknown future.
I started Pilates at 3 Degrees Pilates approximately 7 years ago after a recommendation from a good friend. I went in with really no idea if this would help my arthritis or not, but I was trying everything I could to try and find something that eased the pain and made life a little easier. My RA was not typical and generally I had one side more affected than the other. I also varied with my symptoms in that one day I could not walk very well and then next I could not lower my baby daughter into her cot. I was commenced on some fairly horrible medications and even though they did help, the past 8 years have been a rollercoaster of steady times and challenging flares when meds would need to be altered and adapted. The medications helped to a degree but certainly did not make me pain free or more mobile much of the time. My one stability in all this that has helped me beyond words, has been Peta and her team at 3 Degrees Pilates.
It would be one of my supporting and ongoing treatments that Peta has adapted to me and how my body is affected by the RA. In the times when I am having a flare up and horrible pain, releasing my joints and muscles has really made a massive difference and when I have been feeling better, we strengthen my body for the next flare which will inevitably appear. Peta and her staff have worked out for me what helps my body and also are continually bringing new exercises into the mix to see if they help. The support from 3 Degrees Pilates has been such an amazing help to me during the past 7 years and I really believe that I would not be where I am today without them. I feel like they really see me and make a real effort to understand what I am going through and together we work towards to goal of making my life a little less painful, more active and definitely improving my outlook for the future.