Stretching and Stretching - Cleveland Clinic

Stretching and Stretching – Cleveland Clinic

The last thing you want to do when you feel stiff and sore is to move. But exercise is exactly what will help you feel better when you have ankylosing spondylitis (AS), the inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine and joints.

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A rheumatologist and sports medicine expert says regular exercise is an essential part of treating AS Ahmed Al-Ghawi, Dr. Prevents lower back pain and stiffness. It also helps maintain your range of motion, so AS doesn’t limit your ability to do daily activities.

Dr. Al-Ghawi shares the best exercises spondyloarthritis And what do you do when you have an AS glow.

How can exercise help people with ankylosing spondylitis?

Exercise is the cornerstone of AS treatment and has many benefits. Try to include a variety of exercises to improve:

  • core strength. Muscles in the trunk (or core area) help keep the spine aligned. Dr. Al-Ghawi says a strong cardio can reduce lower back pain, too. “The rib cage rests in the upper back, but the lower back doesn’t have that support. Often people feel a lot of pain.” Focus on strengthening your abdominal muscles to provide more stability to your lower back.
  • Flexibility of the spine. If AS progresses, the joints in your lower back may join or fuse together. When this happens, it limits your movement. Stretching exercises help keep the spine flexible and give you good posture.
  • Balance. Some people with ankylosing spondylitis take steroid medications long-term. This increases your chance of Osteoporosis Or weak bones, which can lead to them breaking. Working on your balance helps you avoid falls that break bones.
  • Heart health. Autoimmune diseases such as AS cause persistent ignition. Inflammation increases the risk of heart disease. To counteract this, incorporate aerobic exercise into your exercise routine. Enhances heart and lung functions. reward? It can reduce pain and improve your mood, too.

What are good exercises for ankylosing spondylitis?

The best exercise for AS is the one you enjoy. Since there are so many options, you don’t have to stick with something that bothers you.

For example, walking is easy and free, and you can do it in a variety of settings. You can choose to exercise alone, in a group class, or with a friend or neighbor – whatever makes you happiest.

“Find an exercise regimen that you like so that it’s easy for you to stick to,” Dr. El-Ghawi advises. “Try a few different activities to see what you like the most.”

Here are some options that are particularly useful for AS:

physical therapy exercises

Health care providers often recommend physical therapy to relieve ankylosing spondylitis. You are supervised by a physical therapist while you perform specific exercises.

The movements may target your chest wall as well as your spine. Ankylosing spondylitis can sometimes cause the rib cage to stiffen, making it difficult to tolerate deep breath. Physiotherapy is great for learning stretching exercises that maintain spinal flexibility, chest expansion, and healthy lung function, says Dr. El Ghawi.


Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on building body strength in a slow and controlled manner.

“It combines many types of exercise into one routine,” says Dr. El-Ghawi. “It’s a good combination of flexibility training, working out the core and posture. Pilates is good for AS because it’s low-impact, so it’s safe for the joints.”

Other low-impact muscle-building activities include yoga, tai chi, and weight training.

Stretching exercises

Make sure your workout includes stretching exercises to help your AS, says Dr. El Ghawi. For example, you can do the exercises you learned in physical therapy or do slow-flow yoga, where you maintain your postures for longer. another option? Traditional stretching exercises that target your neck and back.

neck exercises

Dr. El Ghawi says the goal of neck exercises for AS is to increase your range of motion. Try these movements to gently stretch your neck:

  • Bend your chin to your chest.
  • Move your ear toward your shoulder.
  • Rotate your head slowly.

Back exercises

Strong muscles help you maintain proper posture, which is essential when you have AS. Back and trunk exercises for AS include:

  • wall sitting. Stand against a wall and then come down to a sitting position.
  • panels. Take a position similar to the way you started with a push-up and hold this position.
  • bridge. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Starting with your pelvis, slowly lift your lower back up and hold.


You can do many traditional exercises in the water. The advantage of hydrotherapy or hydrotherapy for ankylosing spondylitis is that it is gentle on the joints.

“It’s great for people who don’t have the same amount of strength,” says Dr. Al-Ghawi. “Once water exercises get easy, you graduate to do them on land.”

Can exercise make the condition worse?

Exercise is a must to reduce AS symptoms and maintain movement. But the physical activity you can handle depends on the stage of your AS and your general health.

“You can expect some pain when you exercise,” Dr. El-Ghawi says. But pain is a signal to stop and can be a sign of an ankylosing spondylitis flare-up when the disease enters an active phase and symptoms worsen. Stop the activity until you see your health care provider. Explain the pain you feel. Together, you can decide if you can do this exercise safely.”

What movements should be avoided with AS?

If you have ankylosing spondylitis, avoid intense, fast-moving, high-impact exercises such as martial arts and contact sports. Also, consider how the disease has affected your movement and balance before trying a particularly challenging new physical activity.

Exercise can complement your medical AS treatment. It is a natural way to relieve symptoms of AS such as pain, stiffness and fatigue. It helps your body stay strong and flexible, too. and here It may even prevent inflammationmaking the disease worse.

Bottom line: You can’t be a sofa potato when you have AS. And once you get moving and feel the benefits, you won’t want to quit.

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