Rebounding from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis, Featured Article, Healthy Aging, Healthy Living, Rheumatoid Arthritis
on March 1, 2012

If you’d asked Cynthia Privoznik to name her favorite activities a few years ago, the list would have been exhaustive: hiking, biking, ballet, weight lifting, snowboarding, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, playing violin, knitting, painting and needlework. So you can imagine how it felt for the Inyokern, Calif., resident to receive the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis in 2008—though it did explain some things.

“I’d been suffering from aching and swelling joints in the knees, hands, wrists and feet for a year,” she says. “It got very hard to do the activities I loved, and it hurt to move my joints in everyday activities such as going up and down stairs, using my hands for anything and even sleeping.”

Then 50, Cynthia wondered whether she’d ever be able to resume the active lifestyle she loved. But luckily with the right combination of drugs—for her Enbrel and methotrexate—she found almost immediate relief. Within a few months, she was completely free of swelling and pain and able to resume her favorite hobbies. Not only was that crucial for her quality of life, but it’s also an important part of managing her RA. “I now comfortably work out two hours every day without any pain and with sufficient energy,” she says. “And all this activity has built my stamina and endurance back.” Recently, Cynthia completed two 30-mile bike rides—on back-to-back-days — and hiked the majestic Mount Whitney.

“Now I feel the best I have ever felt,” she says.