If you suffer from ankylosing spondylitis (AS), exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. However, medication won’t suffice to manage your condition effectively. According to the Spondylitis Association of America, no matter the type of arthritis, if you don’t exercise, you will lose muscle and become deconditioned, which will result in less support for you achy joints and actually increase your pain. Below are tops ways that exercise can help manage your AS aches:
Improved Pain Relief and Overall Quality of Life
The pain felt by AS patients range from tolerable to severe and incapacitating. The right combination of medication and exercise might ease your discomfort and pain and help you sleep better. According to the Arthritis Foundation, daily forms of exercise, such as walking, yoga, and swimming, can help relieve pain and improve your overall mood and energy level. Thus, when you go in for your massage therapy session in Salt Lake City, Utah for pain relief, ask your chiropractor for exercise recommendations that might also work for you.
AS also affects the spine’s joints, which results in chronic back pain. When you are in pain, the knee-jerk reaction is to bend forward or curl your upper body to alleviate the pain. Doing this regularly will negatively affect your posture. Consider swimming, Pilates, and yoga to help maintain proper posture.
Improved Fitness and Strength
Studies have shown that exercise can really help enhance endurance and alleviate fatigue, which can help you manage your daily routine easier. Strength exercises such as weightlifting and bodyweight exercises will help you build muscle, which will safeguard and support your joints. Likewise, endurance or aerobic exercises can help you lose excess weight and lessen unnecessary stress on your joints.
Increased Range of Motion and Flexibility
The entire point of exercising if you have AS is to help maintain or increase your range of motion and prevent stiffness. Being more flexible and having an increased range of motion would make it easier for you to go about your daily life.
Being sedentary can actually make your balance, stiffness, and pain worse if you have AS. You also increase your risk of slips, trips, and falls. To improve your balance and ease the strain on your achy joints, consider swimming and other water exercises.
Increased Lung Capacity
More often than not, AS can lead to reduced flexibility of the spine. In more serious cases, however, the movement of your lungs and rib cage might be limited due to multiple vertebrae fusing together. Light aerobic activities and deep breathing can aid you in maintaining flexibility of your rib cage and chest and help you breathe better.
Still, while exercise could be a vital component of your AS management plan, it’s critical that you make proper choices. You need to consult your doctor and other relevant professionals involved in your AS management plan to ensure that you won’t injure yourself or make your condition worse. It’s also crucial that you don’t rush yourself when exercising, or you risk aggravating your symptoms. With patience and consistency, you’ll feel the positive of effects of exercise in no time.