- If you have ankylosing spondylitis exercise can help you to improve range of motion, posture, and strength.
- Poor posture can worsen ankylosing spondylitis. Whether you are in the beginning stages of ankylosing spondylitis or further along, there are exercises that you can do to improve your posture and relieve pain. Learn which exercises to do and which to avoid.
If you have ankylosing spondylitis (AS) exercise may seem impossible. In some cases AS is debilitating. The problem with AS is the stiffness. If we manage to be more flexible we can actually stop it from becoming worse. I have seen cases where people were able to be more flexible than before the diagnosis of the disease. It’s your fight and you have to fight it well.
Why Exercise Is Important If You Have Ankylosing Spondylitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis and Posture
In addition to pain and stiffness, often posture is affected due to weakened muscles that are stiff and joints that no longer function as they should. This just adds to the problem by causing muscle imbalances and more pain.
You also run the risk of making your AS even worse if you don’t correct your posture. Good posture is important for everyone, but especially those who suffer from AS or have a high risk of developing AS. Exercise can improve your posture.
Other Benefits of Exercise for AS:
- Flexibility is increased
- Mobility is increases
- Strength is increased
- Pain relief
- Better quality sleep due to pain relief
Correct Your Posture
The problem is that many people move about without paying attention and have a lot running through their minds. They do not even realize that there is a problem with their posture until it starts causing a problem or unless it is remarkably noticeable. So, if you have AS and suspect you’re developing a hunchback posture, there are some simple methods to test it:
- Photos: Look at your posture in photos, particularly ones taken of you from the side. You will be able to see if you were hunching.
- Mirror test: Turn to the side and check the mirror. See whether you are standing up with your body in a straight line or whether you are hunching or slouching. If you struggle with using the correct form while exercising, a mirror can help with that too.
- Wall test: Stand with your back against a wall. Is your head touching the wall? If you are standing up straight, it should be. Your shoulders, butt, and heels should also be touching the wall.
- Pillow test: You can also at times take the pillow below your head away and see if your head is able to touch the bed effortlessly. If it doesn’t, this is the point where to start from. This should be your first milestone to achieve with correct postures and exercises.
Once you are aware that you have poor posture, you can now start taking steps to correct it.