when not to swim/ swimming help and advice

by Lara Hall
(Charlotte, NC )

I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibro and who knows what else. I have been getting leg spasms/cramps for no reason. I’m scared to get in the pool and get a cramp and not be able to get out of the pool or get the muscle cramp out, or both, as most of the cramps are in my legs.


I live by myself and in the middle of divorce but I have access to pool. I love water. Should I get in while I am having leg cramps? (The cramps are in different muscles at different times, I’m not sure what I did.)

I don't work and I would love to just hang out in the pool. Half my medicines either burn me in the sun or dehydrate me. I never know what to do. The Doctor gives the answer. Don’t do more than your body will let you. Well sometimes that's nothing like today. Help? Any suggestions?


Hello Lara,

It is difficult I know, and when someone tells you not to do something you’re even more inclined to do it. I’m sorry to hear you’re in so much difficulty and are restricted in what you love to do. I know I’d be pretty gutted if I could not go swimming anymore.

Well the simple answer to your problem is simply no you should not go swimming nothing at all to do with rheumatoid arthritis and fibro or the medication. It’s the muscle cramps that worry me. If I was having muscle cramps in different parts of my body I simply would not go until I’ve sorted out that issue. It can be quite dangerous to swim and then to have cramp. If you were swimming along and something happened you would be in danger of drowning even in shoulder depth water if you had cramp in your leg for instance and want able to regain your balance you could be at risk. You could also cause other problems with your joints trying to regain your balance.

If it was me i would not risk it. Someone who doesn’t suffer from cramps is more likely to get cramp when they swim, I’ve seen it on several occasions. But if you were not having these cramps then I would go swimming and tell you to go ahead.

Swimming very good for joints it doesn’t put pressure on the joints like other excise does, it supports you in the water. Swimming would do you a lot of good. I’m sorry this isn’t the answer you wanted to hear but I’m going on the safe side I’m not a doctor but I can see that you are really disappointed you are not able to swim. I can really feel for you and your disappointment.... but like I said you need to stop somehow these body cramps and then think about going swimming....

When you do get cramp in your legs try to stretch out your leg and pull back your feet and toes towards your body to stretch out the muscle and hold it for about 20/30 seconds. Sometimes that helps......

Let me know how you get on :)...

Thanks for contacting me and if you have any more questions, please get in touch...

Dale :)

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