Exercising in Ankylosing Spondylitis


Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis is what many often enquire about. People ask for treatment that completely cures ankylosing spondylitis disorder. Well, there is no known curative treatment for ankylosing spondylitis. However, there are different techniques & methods that reduce the effects or intensity of ankylosing spondylitis considerably.
Understanding ankylosing spondylitis, is very important so that you can opt for the best suited treatment for it. Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects spinal cord & sacroiliac joints, causing fusion of the spine- Bamboo Spine. It is of type autoimmune spondyloarthropathy. There may be involvement of other organs such as kidneys, lungs, eyes and heart. Hence, when your diagnosis is ankylosing spondylitis, you should immediately seek the treatment.

Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis includes various options such as medications, exercise & physiotherapy.
Goal of Treatment: Relieve pain, manage symptoms & prevent further progress of the disease.
Physiotherapy:
  • Various types of movements of back & neck
  • Deep breathing for expansion of lungs
  • Stretching exercises for joint mobility
  • Guidelines- Maintaining erect posture is also very important to reduce spinal scoilotic curvature. Slipping on firm surface & avoid use of pillow while sleeping
Yoga:
  • Yoga can provide a relief from pain, stiffness, improve breathing & improve the range of mobility.
  • Yoga also helps to reduce stress and maintain the energy of patients
  • Asanas: (positions in Yoga) such as Vajra Asana, Dhanura Asana, Makara Asana, Bhujanga Asana, Ardha Matsyendrasana & Neti kriya help to remove rigidity, improve flexibility of joints & also correct bad posture. Pranayama is helpful for muscle relaxation as well as to improve the movements of ribs & changes in pressure within abdomen & chest
  • Before practicing Yoga session, a person should perform stretching to prevent sprains, muscle strains or further injuries
Pilates:
  • Build flexibility, increase strength, endurance, & coordination in legs, abdominals, arms & back.
  • Help with maintaining the  natural curves of the body
  • Create a neutral position for each joint that is close to the optimal alignment of the head, shoulders, thorax, spine & pelvis which ensures that all sections of the body are in their ideal place
However, high-impact exercises such as jogging & sports are jarring to your frame and are generally not recommended. Instead, engage in Tai chi, Swimming because it involves all muscles & joints in a low-impact, buoyant environment. Cycling can also help restore lost movement.
Option of surgery is also viable, in case of severe ankylosing spondylitis condition. Joint replacement surgery, especially of hip and knees is opted for reducing further development of ankylosing spondylitis.
Significance
Exercise, even in small five to 10 minute doses, can improve posture & mobility. According to the Spondylitis Association of America, most people say that their condition improves after exercise. However, first consult a rheumatologist or physical therapist before you begin, because movements that may be beneficial under normal conditions may actually harm those with AS.
Time Frame
Convenience and consistency are the most important parts of your routine. If you feel stiff in the morning, then you may try to loosen up early & then exercise in the midday or evening. If necessary, you can split your exercises throughout the day. For example, you can first do exercises while lying down, and then later in the day you can work on neck stretches or deep breathing.
Much relief can be gained in ankylosing spondylitis by following an exercise regime consistently.
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your medical professional before beginning exercises.
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