Ankylosing spondylitis does not have a cure. Medicines do play a huge role in managing and coping with the disease. However, in order to better manage it, it is advisable to take certain precautions. So, here are some tips that you could put into practice on a daily basis for best results.
Exercising on a daily basis can ease pain and reduce stiffness. It also strengthens the muscles around the joints and the core, thus reducing strain on the spine. Low-impact exercises like swimming are very beneficial for people with AS. Breathing exercises can keep the chest area flexible. Consult your doctor before you begin any form of exercise.
It is important to eat a balanced and healthy diet in order to maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight adds to the strain and the pain in your back and joints. Also, in order to keep your bones healthy include calcium and vitamin D in your diet. It is advisable to talk to a dietitian before you make any major changes to your diet.
It is also advised to increase your protein intake to ensure that the support muscles for your back and spine are healthy.
Choose a mattress that is firm enough to give adequate support to your spine. It should not be too firm. Ensure that when your sleep, the mattress takes the shape of your spine and back. A good mattress can prevent your spine from curving. Also, make sure that your neck is well supported and is in the right position.
Alcohol and smoking
People with AS should avoid smoking as reduces the capacity of the lungs thus hindering the movement of the rib cage while breathing.
Keep away from alcohol if you are taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. It is not advisable to mix the two together.
Maintaining a good posture is essential for people with AS. It can prevent or lower the risk of fusion between the vertebrae of the spine. Also, a bad posture also puts a lot of stress and pressure on the spine. You can improve your posture with exercises. It is also important to be aware of your posture while working. Avoid slouching.
You could engage a physiotherapist to help you improve your posture.
At One Life, we have a holistic pain management system in place where we involve physiotherapists, caregivers, skilled nurses and other experts based on the needs of the patient. We also liaise with your primary physician to ensure optimum treatment. We educate and work with the patients and their families and customize a program to enable reduction of pain. For more information, call us on our toll-free number 1800 425 19999.