Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that can result in severe degrees of pain and cause for discomfort thus. Making use of specific exercises for the treatment of this condition is taken as the most effective treatment solution. In the following article, we will focus on these exercise forms and help you out with the same.
In today’s day and age, there are several diseases and conditions that a person can get inflicted with. Blame it on the unhealthy lifestyle. Of course, others could be caused by old age and other conditions as well. One of these conditions is that of ankylosing spondylitis. What is ankylosing spondylitis? This condition is a type of arthritis and usually affects the spine. In this, the Sacroiliac (SI) joints which are found at the base of the spine are affected. Although several other joints in the body could be affected just as well. This condition is characterized by an inflammation in the spine, which then naturally leads to pain, discomfort and a burning sensation. Other than inflammation, it can, at times, also result in the formation of a new bone over the spine. This then causes the spine to remain in a fixed, frontal stooping position that restricts most activities and movement and leads to severe and constant pain.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can also lead to inflammation and stiffness, along with pain in certain other areas of the body like hips, heels, shoulders and joints of the hands and feet. While there is no fixed cure found for this condition yet, it has been seen that exercises and ankylosing spondylitis are closely connected. In the way that undertaking certain ankylosing spondylitis exercises helps in dealing with the pain, as well as in preventing the escalation of this disorder. In the following section, we will describe these exercises in detail so that you understand them better and are able to include the same in your routine.
Exercises for People with Ankylosing Spondylitis
Generally, a combination of low impact exercises as well as some form of physical therapy is used in the treatment of this condition. These will include spine strengthening exercises, exercises to improve posture, stretching exercises, which help in improving flexibility and other similar forms. These exercises have to be undertaken everyday, twice a day for maximum impact.
Before starting out on these exercises, a patient is usually advised to walk about and loosen the body so that the stiffness can reduce. Once this has been done, it will help in bringing about a more positive result from the exercises. Given below are certain ankylosing spondylitis exercises that can be undertaken as part of the treatment.
- Stand with your back to a wall and try to touch your butt, shoulder blades and the mid back to the wall.
- Also try and touch the back of the head to the wall. But ensure that the head is not tilted and is straight.
- This exercise will help in improving your posture.
- Get down on all fours so that the pressure is equally distributed to the hands and knees.
- Don’t let your head be stiff. Drop it down instead. This is your neutral position and from where you’ll start.
- Round your back so that you feel a stretch in the middle, upper and lower back.
- Hold for 15-25 seconds. It should feel comfortable.
- Now come back to the neutral position.
- Now push the back towards the floor and let your buttocks turn towards the ceiling.
- Hold for 15-25 seconds and release.
- Repeat the whole set 4 times.
Press Up Back
- Lie down on your stomach and support yourself with your forearms.
- Pressing your elbows into the floor, raise your upper back so that your back is arched.
- Do not use your back muscles to arch.
- Relax your stomach muscles and make sure that the hips and pelvic muscles do not come off the floor.
- Maintain this position for 30 seconds and then come back to the floor.
- Repeat 4 times.
- Use a firm pillow and place it on the floor or a flat surface.
- Lie on the floor such that the pillow supports your mid section.
- Your hands should be bent at the elbows and in front of you.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Shoulder and Back Stretch
- Stand erect with your hands by your side.
- Fix a spot in front of you and look straight at it.
- Inhale deeply and raise your arms, taking them over your head in the direction of the ceiling.
- While they are up, stretch them further so that you’ll feel a stretch in the shoulder.
- Make sure that you do not tilt your head back. Keep it absolutely straight and maintain this neutral position throughout the exercise.
- Hold the stretch while you breathe normally. Maintain it for 15-25 seconds.
- Take your hands down and into the starting position again.
- Repeat 4 times.
These were some of the ankylosing spondylitis exercises that you can include in your schedule. Though these exercises are simple and primarily of low intensity, they will help in strengthening the neck, spine and back and thereby help in bringing about relief.