Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment
Exercise is important for maintaining healthy and strong muscles, preserving joint mobility, and maintaining flexibility. It can also help people sleep well, reduce pain, maintain a positive attitude, and lose weight.
Before beginning an exercise program, make sure to talk with your healthcare provider or physical therapist. He or she can recommend appropriate exercises.
The following four types of exercise are important for general physical fitness and may be helpful for back pain caused by ankylosing spondylitis:
FlexionThe purposes of flexion exercises, which are exercises in which you bend forward, are to:
- Widen the spaces between the vertebrae, thereby reducing pressure on the nerves
- Stretch muscles of the back and hips
- Strengthen abdominal and buttock muscles.Many healthcare providers think that strengthening the muscles of the abdomen (stomach) will reduce the load on the spine.ExtensionWith extension exercises, you bend backward. These exercises may minimize radiating pain, which is pain you can feel in other parts of the body besides where it starts. Examples of extension exercises include leg lifting while lying prone and raising the torso while lying prone. The theory behind these exercises is that they open up the spinal canal in places and develop muscles that support the spine.StretchingThe goal of stretching exercises, as their name suggests, is to stretch and improve the extension of muscles and other soft tissues of the back. This can reduce back stiffness and improve range of motion.