By Dr. Andrew Cummins
Ankylosing Spondylitis Effects
Ankylosing Spondylitis causes pain, reduces mobility, and affects posture because of chronic inflammation attacking the joints of the body.
Three of the main areas that are affected by the chronic inflammation are the joints of the spine, sacroiliac joints, and the hips.
To reduce inflammation and pain in these joints it is essential that the joints are stabilized.
For the joints to be stabilized the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding and crossing the joints must be strengthened.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Exercise
One of the best exercises I have incorporated into my daily routine to strengthen, stabilize, improve mobility and reduce the pain of the joints of my spine, sacroiliac joints, and hips is demonstrated in the video below.
I suggest warming your muscles, tendons, and ligaments up with a 5 - 10 minute walk before doing the exercise.
You should not start any new exercise program without first consulting with your healthcare practitioner.
I suggest that you start slowly by holding the position on each side for 5 seconds.
After the muscles of the back and glutes start to strengthen, increase the time that each side of an arm and leg is raised for 10 seconds.
Then progress to holding each side for 20 seconds, then 30 seconds, and eventually until you are able to hold each side for around 60 seconds.
This progression can take time so build up slowly and safely until your muscles and joints feel ready to progress.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Exercise Directions
First, you're going to begin on your hands and knees.
One of the most important things to remember is to make sure the back of your neck stays straight and long.
You do this by gently pulling the chin back and having your eyes looking straight down at the ground.
Then raise one arm and the leg on the opposite side. For example, when raising the left arm, you raise the right leg. When raising the right arm, you raise the left leg.
This is going to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine which will reduce breakdown, inflammation, and pain, as well as improve posture.
This exercise is also going to strengthen the gluteal muscles which will give stability and support to the sacroiliac joints and hip joints reducing inflammation and pain while improving mobility.
Focus on contracting the gluteal muscle while holding your leg in the air.
Your arms, back, and legs should be straight and level as much as possible.
This exercise has been extremely important for me in reducing my spinal, sacroiliac, and hip pain associated with Ankylosing Spondylitis not only throughout the day, but also reducing my pain throughout the night helping improve my quality of sleep.