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Ankylosing Spondylitis – Do’s And Don’ts

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Ankylosing spondylitis is inflammatory arthritis of the spine and large joints. It fuses the spine and reduces flexibility.

It is more common in men than females. 

Ankylosing spondylitis is sympotamised with spine pain, stiffness, and severe posture bending forward, and a stiff spine.

Normal Spine Vs Ankylosed Spine

Do’s For Ankylosing Spondylitis

Concentrate on exercise

Exercise plays a major role in Ankylosing Spondylitis. The more you are active, the earlier you recover. 

Swimming, gyming are the most recommended exercises for Ankylosing spondylitis. Work on your muscle strength and flexibility. 

Give proper history to your doctor

When you give proper information to your treating doctor, about any comorbidity, drug allergy, previously taken medicine. It helps the doctor to think and start a suitable line of treatment.

Follow your Doctor’s advice

Trust your doctor and follow his advice. 

Most people get influenced by their peers and try to find an alternative treatment.

When you are paying your doctor then why not follow his advice?

Be patient

Medicine is not magic. It takes time to work. Disease-modifying medicine and biologics work slowly. They take about 4-6 weeks. 

Also, the body reacts differently to the drug. 

If you are previously treated with steroids. It takes more time to remove steroid effects from your body and start working on a new medicine.

Remember when you discontinue steroids you may suffer from withdrawal syndrome like nausea, vomiting, uneasiness, increased joint pain, and stiffness. 

Be patient and give a few weeks for the medicine to work.

Focus on posture – 

In Ankylosing spondylitis posture is very important. Due to improper posture pressure on the spine increases and leads to severe pain.

Try to sit straight, stand straight. Keep your chin parallel to the floor. 

While sitting on a chair if required to take a rest. 

Continue sitting will put pressure on your lumbar region. So, take a stall in between.

Eat a healthy diet – 

Keep your diet calcium and vitamin D rich. Include milk, milk products, bananas, custard apples in your diet. For Vitamin D early morning sun rays are a better option, try to take a sunbath for at least 10-15 minutes daily.

Avoid junk and processed food which leads to excessive weight gain and aggravates your Ankylosing pain.

Frequent eye check-ups

Uveitis is part of Ankylosing spondylitis. So, if you feel redness and the irritation in eyes, consult your Ophthalmologist and Rheumatologist.

Don’ts for Ankylosing Spondylitis 

Don’t skip medicines

Once we feel better we try to avoid medicine – normal human tendency, isn’t it??

But in Ankylosing spondylitis you can’t do that. Consult your rheumatologist before reducing or skipping any dose.

Once your disease activity is in control your doctor will reduce the dose of medication.

Remember there is no complete cure for Ankylosing spondylitis, but it can be controlled.

Don’t exert yourself

Exercise is important in Ankylosing spondylitis but don’t do it excessively. 

Skip exercise during severe pain. 

Also while working don’t exert yourself. Take a break in between and help from others.

Don’t go for the fad diet

There is no diet restriction for Ankylosing spondylitis.

As well as no specific fad diet recommended for it. So don’t be involved in the marketing strategy of any specific diet package for Ankylosing spondylitis.

Don’t exceed alcohol

You can take alcohol in a minimum amount. But consult your doctor before taking alcohol, if there are no consequences with your current medication.

Conclusion – 

  • Ankylosing spondylitis is an autoimmune disease, it is not curable but you can control it with regular medicine and exercise.
  • Concentrate on regular exercise.
  • Improve your posture.
  • Don’t bend down directly. Instead, fold your knees and go down.
  • Eat a healthy diet and keep a check on your weight.
  • Be regular with your medicine.
  • Trust your doctor.
  • Don’t change your doctor frequently.
  • A rheumatologist is the best person to treat Ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Try to avoid steroids.
  • Keep track of your pain pattern and taking medicine.

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