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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

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

Food/ Diet & Ankylosing spondylitis

index

 

Whether a person is affected by a chronic illness or not, there are some straightforward guidelines that if followed, would lead to improved health and well-being for almost everyone. Both calcium and alcohol affect the strength of the bones, and it is a well known fact that people with spondylitis are already at higher risk for osteoporosis, a dangerous thinning of the bones that can lead to fractures. Following a diet with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D will help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Alcoholic beverages can also weaken bones. Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases a person’s chances of developing weakened bones. In addition, alcohol mixed with certain medications can cause serious side-effects to the gastrointestinal tract and to major organs such as the liver and the kidneys. It is important to find out from your doctor whether any of the medications that you take affect how your body uses what you eat. For instance, some medications cause a person to retain sodium, while others cause potassium loss. Methotrexate can lower folic acid levels causing a variety of adverse symptoms which can be offset by taking additional supplements. Whatever you decide, expert agree that there are basic guidelines to good nutrition, which are: Eat a variety of foods that make you feel good – avoid those that do not. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products. Use fat (especially saturated fat found in animal products), cholesterol, sugar, and salt in moderation. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Most people receive daily requirements of vitamins and minerals by eating a well-balanced diet, but others need to take vitamin supplements. Avoid alcohol or foods that can interact with your medication. Talk with your doctor and/or pharmacist about potential interactions.

 

What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of progressive arthritis due to chronic inflammation of the joints in the spine. Its name comes from the Greek words “ankylos,” meaning stiffening of a joint, and “spondylo,” meaning vertebra. Spondylitis refers to inflammation of the spine or one or more of the adjacent structures of the vertebrae.

Ankylosing spondylitis belongs to a group of disorders called seronegative spondyloarthropathies. Seronegative means an individual has tested negative for an autoantibody called rheumatoid factor. The spondyloarthropathies are a family of similar diseases that usually cause joint and spine inflammation. Other well-established syndromes in this group include psoriatic arthritis, the arthritis of inflammatory bowel disease, chronic reactive arthritis, and enthesitis-related idiopathic juvenile arthritis.

Although these disorders have similarities, they also have features that distinguish them from one another. The hallmark of ankylosing spondylitis is “sacroiliitis,” or inflammation of the sacroiliac (SI) joints, where the spine joins the pelvis.

In some people, ankylosing spondylitis can affect joints outside of the spine, like the shoulders, ribs, hips, knees, and feet. It can also affect entheses, which are sites where the tendons and ligaments attach to the bones. It is possible that it can affect other organs, such as the eyes, bowel, and—more rarely—the heart and lungs.

Although many people with ankylosing spondylitis have mild episodes of back pain that come and go, others have severe, ongoing pain accompanied by loss of flexibility of the spine. In the most severe cases, long-term inflammation leads to calcification that causes two or more bones of the spine to fuse. Fusion can also stiffen the rib cage, resulting in restricted lung capacity and function.

The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but it is likely that both genes and factors in the environment play a role. The main gene associated with susceptibility to ankylosing spondylitis is called HLA-B27. But while most people with ankylosing spondylitis have this genetic marker, only a small percentage of people with the gene develop the disease.

 

 

Thanks to : N I H

Aside

Dear Friends,

has been hard be far away from all of you, but It was  and still it is hard for me, but I’m a warrior and I have to fight to be well in my body and in my mind.

I will do my best to search and share with you any tips can be helpful.

I wish you a wonderful night and I hope i can blog soon .

A virtual hug to all you

Adriana

 

Pregnancy with Ankylosing Spondylitis

 

Does ankylosing spondylitis (AS) worsen with pregnancy?

Pregnancy tends to improve AS in 20-30%, worsen AS in 20-30% while it remains unchanged in 50-60%. In general, spinal disease remains unchanged during pregnancy while peripheral arthritis and uveitis are suppressed during gestation and tend to exacerbate after delivery. Women carrying a female foetus fare better than those carrying a male foetus. Those with active spinal disease are advised not to plan pregnancy unless the disease is controlled.

When can one plan pregnancy with ankylosing spondylitis?

Your arthritis must be reasonably controlled for a period of at least 3-4 months before planning pregnancy. You should not have had any flare during these months.
Always speak to your Rheumatologist before planning pregnancy as he may have to make changes in your medicines. He would be the best person to guide you regarding the timing of your decision. Please speak to him well in advance as Methotrexate has to be stopped at least 3 months prior to planning to conceive.Those with active spinal disease are advised not to plan pregnancy unless the disease is controlled.

Is the pregnancy outcome different in patients with ankylosing spondylitis?

No. Ankylosing spondylitis doe not affect the course of pregnancy or the fetal well-being. The risk of fetal loss, prematurity or low birth weight does not increase with AS. Women with Ankylosing spondylitis are more likely to require a cesarean section as inflammed/ ankylosed sacroiliac joint is a mechanical hindrance to childbirth.

What to expect after delivery?

50-80% of the AS patients experience aggravation of symptoms 4 to 12 weeks after delivery. Episodes of uveitis & peripheral arthritis are more common after delivery.

Does Ankylosing spondylitis impair fertility?

No. Ankylosing spondylitis does not impair fertility. Sulfasalazine can impair the maturation of sperm cells and thereby impair the fertility of men. However, this generally settles after stopping the medicine (after an average of 2 ½ months). Sulphasalazine does not affect fertility in women.

Does Ankylosing Spondylitis start during pregnancy?

Ostenson & colleagues studied 939 patients & found that AS starts during pregnancy in about 21% patients.

What is the risk of your child inheriting AS?

The risk of your child inheriting AS is higher if you are HLA-B27 positive. If you are HLA-B27 positive & your partner negative; the chance of your child being positive is 50%. However that does not mean that he/ she has to develop AS. The chances of developing AS are even lower; probably 5- 20%. The chances are higher If you have any other family members affected by AS.