Ways to Ease Ankylosing Spondylitis Pain Chapter 2

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Keep Moving

moving

Your number one defense against spondylitis pain and stiffness is to get moving. Rest and couch-potato inactivity allow your joints to start fusing together, which is what you need to avoid with ankylosing spondylitis. Ruth Kadanoff, MD, professor of rheumatology at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, says, “The type of movement is not as important as the frequency. You need to be doing some type of exercise twice a day. The best exercise is a low-impact type of exercise like walking.” Make simple exercise a daily habit, just like brushing your teeth, and you’ll be well on your way to relieving lower back pain.

Get Physical

physical

The next step after correcting your posture is to follow a more comprehensive physical therapy program for ankylosing spondylitis relief. “We now know that spondylitis also includes an increased risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. That means you can really benefit from a complete program that includes aerobic exercise, range of motion exercise, and strength training,” says Papchristos. Besides targeting lower back pain, bone health, and heart health, a physical therapy program may include deep breathing exercises to prevent your rib cage from stiffening.

 

Take to Water

Gym

Exercises that are good for lower back pain and spondylitis on land are usually even better in a pool. Swimming is a great low-impact aerobic exercise for ankylosing spondylitis. “Studies consistently show that water exercises are the best types of exercise for spondylitis pain and stiffness,” says Papachristos. A survey published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology illustrates this: Researchers found that the most common exercise for people with spondylitis is walking, but the most effective for relieving pain and the most enjoyable is exercising in a pool. Many gyms offer water exercise classes, or you can ask a doctor or physical therapist for suggestions of exercises to do in a pool.

 

Learn a Mind-Body Exercise

tai

If you’re mostly familiar with cardiovascular and strength training, exercises like tai chi and qi gong may seem foreign at first, but these wellness disciplines could help you find a better balance between mind and body. Mind-body exercises can help you learn to listen to your body, reduce the stress of spondylitis pain, and avoid injury. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, these exercises have been shown to improve bone health, balance, prevent falls, and make your heart and lungs stronger — all good things for anyone with ankylosing spondylitis pain and stiffness.

Thanks to : Chris Iliades, MD

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Ways to Ease Ankylosing Spondylitis Pain Chapter 1

 

If you like me are living with ankylosing spondylitis, you know the back pain and fatigue that are hallmarks of the condition can be unpredictable. But fortunately, there are many approaches — besides simply relying on medications — that you can take to ease spondylitis pain and stiffness and move more freely. Most of these ideas are free or inexpensive, and even enjoyable to boot. You’ll find that the emotional boost you get from taking these steps can be as great as the physical improvement.

Make Mornings More Manageable

morning

If you’re like most people with ankylosing spondylitis, your lower back pain and stiffness is worse in the morning. “When joints are stationary for a time, the joint fluid actually thickens a bit, like ketchup,” says Sturdy McKee, MPT, physical therapist and CEO of San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy. “You can shake or stir your joints through repeated movements — any repeated movements.” Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to create a morning routine of gentle motions that can lessen spondylitis pain and get your joints moving.

Hit the Showers

Shower

When the fluids in your joints get thick and stiff, spondylitis pain gets worse. A great way to get those fluids moving is to warm them up with a warm bath or shower, which loosens up your muscles and makes it easier to exercise. In fact, you might find that doing some exercise in the shower can help get you going in the morning. You may also find that doing your posture training for ankylosing spondylitis after a warm bath or shower, when your body is warmed up, is easier for you.

Correct Poor Posture

posture

Poor posture ramps up spondylitis pain and stiffness. Minimize lower back pain with what medical experts call “posture training:” Think tall by keeping your head balanced and your back straight at all times, and practice standing with your back against a wall and prone lying, which is lying face down on a firm surface. A physical therapist can show you the ropes. “Posture training should be done for about 30 minutes every day, but you can break this time up into 10- or 15-minute sessions,” says Angelo Papachristos, a physiotherapist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Special thanks  to : Chris Iliades, MD

Diagnosing Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women

Ankylosing spondylitis has often been considered more of a man’s disease, yet the reality is that it affects some women, too.

The genetic marker for ankylosing spondylitis, HLA-B27, is found equally in men and women. However, ankylosing spondylitis is two or three times more common in men than women, said Rodney Tehrani, MD, a rheumatologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis in Women: Why the Difference?

Many experts believe several factors may explain why it’s harder to reach an ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis in women. Some women may have milder symptoms, so ankylosing spondylitis symptoms may not be as obvious. Progression also may be slower, and symptoms can seem like other ailments, such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia. The area of discomfort also can interfere with making the correct diagnosis. Along with back pain, women also might experience soreness in the neck and peripheral joints, in contrast to men who mainly tend to note back pain.

When to Suspect Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women

Getting the correct diagnosis is critical to getting started on the right treatment. “Clinicians should suspect the disease in women who complain of back pain, particularly when associated with any or all of the following: morning stiffness or stiff back after resting, psoriasis, inflammation of the eyes, frequent canker sores, irregular nails, swelling of the joints, painful joints, particularly shoulders and hips, and frequent abdominal pain and diarrhea,” said Ali D. Askari, MD, chief of the rheumatology division at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

Symptoms also should be carefully studied. For example, back pain from ankylosing spondylitis typically lessens with movement and exercise and gets worse with rest — a feature that sets it apart from some other ailments, like degenerative arthritis.

The Progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women

Anyone with an ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis is naturally concerned about what comes next, but “there is no set course for this disease,” Dr. Tehrani explained. “It is variable in every individual, whether male or female.”

Most often, people with ankylosing spondylitis experience flares — painful episodes — mixed with times of remission when symptoms lessen. As the disease progresses, some of the vertebrae in the spine may fuse together, which makes the back more rigid and at greater risk for fracture.

How Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women Is Treated

Treatment options are similar for women and men. Medications for ankylosing spondylitis symptoms include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as the first line of attack to help address stiffness, neck pain, and back pain in women. When something stronger becomes necessary, most doctors turn to disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs like corticosteroids and sulfasalazine. Biologics or TNF blockers are the latest additions to the treatment option arsenal.

Exercise also is important to retaining flexibility and keeping pain at bay. For example, Pilates has been shown to improve physical capacity and endurance in ankylosing spondylitis. A physical therapist can offer other suggestions.

Maintaining good posture, using heat to reduce soreness and using cold to lessen swelling also can help. Those with very serious cases might need to consider surgery.

Regardless of your symptom level, it’s important for women — and for men, too — to see a rheumatologist at least once a year to make sure you aren’t developing any other issues

Source Everyday Health

How to Talk About Sex and Ankylosing Spondylitis

 

Have an honest, open talk with your partner, one in which you share your desires as well as any limitations you’re feeling. Let your partner know how your diagnosis is affecting you at the moment. Don’t try to project into the future. There’s nothing to be gained from trying to predict how the condition will affect you in five or 10 years. Approach sex as a collaborative, creative, problem-solving team and focus on what you would each like to do to stay sexually active.

If your partner is distressed by your diagnosis or by talking about new sexual positions and techniques, he or she might need some time to adjust to the necessary changes. It may help for your partner to speak privately about concerns with a sex therapist or marriage and family therapist in a confidential setting.

Tips for Enjoying Sex for Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients

 

You and your partner have the opportunity to look at the challenges AS poses as a way to creatively explore sex. Here are some actions you can take to help rekindle sexual enjoyment:

  • Treat AS. First of all, you’ll feel best if your ankylosing spondylitis is well-managed. Talk with your doctor about medications that can reduce pain and stiffness.
  • Focus on your partner. Sex is not limited to mutually satisfying intercourse. There will be times when you’re not feeling aroused, but it’s still appropriate to enjoy touching, massaging, and giving pleasure to your partner through oral sex or by using sex toys. Likewise, there may be times when your partner just wants to please you.
  • Touch and connect. Pain, disability, and challenges to your sense of self can all result in feeling disconnected from your partner. Tepper advocates intimate touching, holding and caressing in a position that is comfortable without necessarily aiming toward intercourse or orgasm.
  • Identify your best time of day. “All of us have times when we have the most energy,” Tepper says. If you wake up with unsexy stiffness, morning sex might not be an option. Share this information with your partner so that he or she isn’t guessing about when the time is right. “Sex as spontaneous is something of a fantasy,” he says.
  • Stay active. Staying physically active keeps your whole body ready for sex. Light exercise could be a good warm-up. If it’s comfortable for you, try working out with your partner, taking a shower, and then engaging in sex.
  • Try standing or kneeling. Experiment with a variety of positioning options. Tepper’s website includes videos that may inspire you. For example, men with lower back pain might enjoy sex (vaginal and oral) more if they are standing or kneeling instead of lying flat. One option is for the man to stand at the base of the bed and his partner to use cushions to raise her pelvic area to the appropriate height.
  • Try sitting. Another option is for the person with ankylosing spondylitis to sit in a chair with firm, comfortable lower back support. Hold your partner on your lap, either facing you or facing away.
  • Use cushions. There are a number of foam bolsters designed specifically to help people be more comfortable having sex. Other options include inflatable pillows or cushions that allow you to control the pressure, bean bag chairs and regular bed pillows ranging from body pillows to small pillow rolls that can help provide the right amount of support for sore joints.
  • Consider specially designed furniture. Items such as swings and unique chairs not only support one or both of you but also assist with thrusting. A sex therapist can help you decide whether this kind of investment is right for you.
  • Use lubrication. Vaginal dryness increases as women age, and lubricants can help ease this lovemaking challenge.
  • Create a sensual mood. “I am a big believer in atmosphere,” Tepper says. Music, candles, scented oils, and videos you both enjoy can help make sex play more fun.
  • Take a soak. A hot tub or bathtub for two may be another location for sex. “The warm water could be soothing,” Tepper says.
  • Play with toys. Vibrators can help both partners enjoy sex. There are many styles available — just shopping together can be sexually exciting.
  • Do some research. Tepper’s website includes a number of short videos that demonstrate positions for people with disabilities. He also recommends the book “The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability” as a resource.

Source Everyday Health

Therapeutic Yoga : Yoga Poses for Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

Hello everyone,

here I’m back with my tips… Have you ever try to do yoga ? I love it, here some new tips  to share with you.

Try it and give me feed back…

I promise one day I will record my own video just to exercise together.

Ciao a tutti,

Eccomi qui con dei  nuovi  consigli…. Avete mai provato a fare Yoga?  A me piace tanto, per questo voglio condividere con voi questi consigli e attendo i vostri feedback.

Vi prometto  prima o poi giro anch’io un video così da praticare insieme Yoga.