Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis which affects spine specifically and causes stiffness with pain. Due to pain and stiffness, the patient is not able to stay comfortable and the daily chores are difficult to be performed. By making certain changes in the lifestyle and including exercises in daily routine the person can deal with the pain and stiffness.
To start with choosing the appropriate time of the day which suits you and makes exercise part of your daily routine. Wear comfortable loose fitting clothes and start with easy exercises first but always after warm up. Start with small sets and don’t exert yourself as it may increase the pain.
So start slowly and gradually increase the exercises. If the pain increases suddenly and doesn’t go, consult to the doctor.
Here are few tips to manage the disease:
- Correct posture while walking: First of all posture of the spine should be corrected. The spine should be straight (as straight as possible) with head high and shoulders backwards.
- Correct posture of standing: Posture while standing can be rectified by standing against a wall with your back facing the wall. Your head, shoulders, hips and heels should touch the wall.
- Correct posture while sitting: sit with your spine straight.
- Correct posture while lying: the person with ankylosing spondylitis should lie down on tummy with no pillow or the thin one.
- Swimming: swimming is a complete exercise for dealing with ankylosing spondylitis. It would help in increasing flexibility of the spine.
- Deep breathing: deep breathing exercises can help in better chest expansion as due to stiffness in the spine the muscles attached to the ribs also get stretched. This causes decreased lung capacity. Deep breathing exercises would help to increase lung capacity and better chest expansion.
- Yoga: yoga would help in relieving stiffness along with pain. Yoga would also increase flexibility.
- Bathing with warm water: always bath with warm water, it would increase flexibility and relieve pain. Better to bath before exercise as it would make it easy for you to exercise.
- Stay active: the key to deal the stiffness is to stay the active whole day. So be active and keep moving.
- Walk: walk with the full activity of the body. Walk for 20 minutes atlas every day.
- Apply hot and cold packs: applying hot and cold packs would help in relieving pain and stiffness. If you are having flare-ups then apply cold packs otherwise hot packs.
- Stretching: do stretching before exercises as it would help you initiate exercise with ease.