Aerobic and deep breathing exercises are a great way to help keep your chest and rib cage flexible. In addition, swimming is an excellent choice as it is low impact but promote overall flexibility of your spine along with neck, shoulder and arm movement along with breathing.
Check out simple exercises for Ankylosing spondylitis below:
A healthy diet is essential for everyone. For those with Ankylosing spondylitis, research is starting to show the benefit. You want a diet that promotes bone health. Research is still in its early stages but foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as avocados, kale and walnut can be beneficial in fighting inflammation and improving joint health.
Learn more which foods to avoid and which foods incorporate into your diet here.
There are a wide of medicine used to treat Ankylosing spondylitis. Once again, it’s essential to talk to your doctor
And discuss things like medical history, pain and stiffness, your lifestyle and so on to find the best medicine for you. Similar to treating arthritis, the most common choices are the following:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): These medications reduce pain and swelling and include familiar names like ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen and so on. The added bonus is some of these also promote heart health.
- Corticosteroids: These medications are much stronger and can work to fight intense pain and joint stiffness. Do note though that they are not usually the best long-term treatment option as they have other side effects.
- Biologic agents: This newer class of medicine is still in its early stages but has been found effective in blocking the proteins associated with Ankylosing spondylitis symptoms.
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs: These drugs are specifically designed to treat arthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis and are often used in combination with NSAIDs to help reduce to the total overall amount of medication a patient needs to take.
Surgery is typically reserved for the most advanced and painful cases of Ankylosing spondylitis often when medication is not enough to overcome the chronic pain. Most often, joint replacement particularly in the knees and hips or in rare cases, surgeries to strengthen the spine.
The bottom line
Ankylosing spondylitis is a serious condition, but it is one that you can manage. If you’re open and honest with your doctor, see her regularly, exercise consistently, have good posture and maintain a good diet, you can manage a healthy and active life and not be held back from doing the things you want to do.
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This post was updated in January 2019 with new information and resources.