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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, July 17, 2017

The 5 Best Exercises for Ankylosing Spondylitis

If you’re living with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), you are already aware of the debilitating back pain associated with the inflammatory condition. It affects the ligaments, joints, and tendons attached to the spine and can lead to serious problems with vertebrae and even full-blown arthritis.
It is a condition we see often here at Texas Orthopedics. Fortunately, there are easy, medication-free ways to treat the pain — namely, a commitment to exercising regularly. Regular exercise keeps joints lubricated and muscles flexible so that inflammation is kept to minimum. 
Here are five simple exercises to help combat the effects of AS:
  1. Standing posture pose: stand with feet hip-width apart and stiffen/straighten your spine so you are standing tall and hold it, then release to a slouched/relaxed position. Repeat several times.
  2. Lying posture pose: perform this on a firm surface (like the floor) by lying face-down, then lift up your chest and head and swivel slightly to one side, hold it, then swivel to the other side. Perform this cycle up to ten times, rest and lay flat, and then repeat.
  3. Swimming: swimming laps, or water aerobics of any kind, are an excellent way to promote flexibility along the spine, and decrease tension in the neck and shoulders. The water also acts as a cushioning environment during movement so there is less impact on joints.
  4. Deep breathing: repeated deep breathing in and exhaling out keeps your rib cage flexible, which lessens pressure on the back. Find a few minutes each day to take in up to 20 deep breaths at a time, as big as you can hold, then exhale for a calming stretch throughout your chest.
  5. Yoga: the gentle stretching and releasing of poses in yoga is great for the spine. Make sure to practice poses that are not too difficult for you, and if anything causes a strain or pain, take a break immediately.
If you suspect that you are suffering from AS, and would like to discuss treatment options with one of our specialists, please contact us for an appointment.
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(Adapted from

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