Ways to Ease Ankylosing Spondylitis Pain Chapter 2

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Keep Moving


When it comes to managing ankylosing spondylitis pain and stiffness, one of the most effective strategies is to stay active. Inactivity and prolonged rest can cause joint fusion, which is a major concern for people with this condition. According to Ruth Kadanoff, MD, a rheumatology professor at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, the type of exercise you do isn’t as important as how frequently you do it. Ideally, you should engage in some form of exercise twice a day. Low-impact activities such as walking are especially beneficial. By making daily exercise a habit, just like brushing your teeth, you can significantly reduce lower back pain and improve your overall well-being.

Get Physical


Once you’ve addressed your posture, the next step towards managing ankylosing spondylitis is to engage in a more extensive physical therapy program. According to Papchristos, a complete program that includes aerobic exercise, range of motion exercise, and strength training can be particularly beneficial because spondylitis is linked to a higher risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. In addition to targeting lower back pain, bone health, and heart health, a physical therapy program may also incorporate deep breathing exercises to prevent your rib cage from becoming stiff. By taking these steps, you can improve your overall physical health and reduce the impact of ankylosing spondylitis on your daily life.


Take to Water


Exercises that can help alleviate lower back pain and spondylitis on land can often provide even greater benefits when performed in water. Swimming is an excellent low-impact aerobic exercise option for individuals with ankylosing spondylitis. According to Papachristos, “Studies consistently demonstrate that water exercises are the most effective types of exercise for reducing spondylitis pain and stiffness.” A survey published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology confirms this, showing that while walking is the most common form of exercise for individuals with spondylitis, exercising in a pool is the most effective and enjoyable way to alleviate pain. Many gyms offer water exercise classes, and you can also seek advice from a doctor or physical therapist regarding exercises to perform in a pool.


Learn a Mind-Body Exercise


If you’re more accustomed to traditional forms of exercise such as cardiovascular and strength training, tai chi and qi gong may seem unfamiliar at first. However, incorporating these mind-body exercises into your routine could help you achieve a better balance between your physical and mental health. Mind-body exercises can help you tune into your body’s needs, alleviate the stress of spondylitis pain, and reduce your risk of injury. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, these exercises have also been shown to improve bone health, balance, prevent falls, and enhance cardiovascular and pulmonary health – all beneficial for individuals with ankylosing spondylitis pain and stiffness.

Thanks to : Chris Iliades, MD


2 responses to “Ways to Ease Ankylosing Spondylitis Pain Chapter 2”

  1. On top of my Humira, I am trying hard to get more active. My dog is pretty good at getting me to go on walks. I know that activity helps, it’s just that the activity is typically so darn painful until it’s over.


    1. I know but try if you can !


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