Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) can be improved with healthy body weight and exercise. 
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects the spine and can lead to pain, fatigue, and stiffness. But studies have shown that regular exercise can help improve it. This article will discuss how to treat ankylosing spondylitis.

How to treat ankylosing spondylitis

A healthy diet has been proven to help relieve symptoms associated with ankylosing spondylitis. Here are the foods that are most beneficial and the foods that should be avoided in a healthy diet.

Foods rich in omega-3s include chia seeds, oily fish (sardines, salmon, and tuna), flaxseeds, and walnuts. Research has shown that omega-3 supplements reduce the activity of the disease, as this can have a moderate effect on joint pain and inflammation.

Fruits and vegetables: contain many vitamins and minerals necessary for overall health and well-being, they also have low calories and high fiber content. The National Society of Ankylosing Spondylitis in the United Kingdom recommends eating fruits and vegetables of all different colors, as they contain many antioxidant compounds that help protect against the disease.

Eat whole grains: these include brown rice, corn, buckwheat, and oatmeal. Known for their high fiber and nutrient content, whole grains can help reduce inflammation. However, those with gluten sensitivity or intolerance can cause symptoms when consuming whole grains. Before including whole grains in your diet, it is recommended that you talk with your doctor. 

How to treat ankylosing spondylitis – eat calcium-rich foods: helps strengthen weak bones, of which it is known to cause ankylosing spondylitis. High calcium foods include dark leafy greens such as cabbage, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, skimmed dairy products, fortified vegetable milk, almonds, canned sardines with bones, and fortified cereals.

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Use more herbs and spices: garlic is known to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Ginger is known for being an excellent anti-inflammatory food. Turmeric, commonly used in Asian dishes, has been shown to reduce inflammation.

Avoid excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and fat: they are usually highly processed foods that can lead to inflammation in the body. Reading labels can give you an idea of ​​what’s in your products. Look for added sugars, high sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and preservatives, and make every effort to avoid them.

Limiting alcohol consumption: alcohol can interact with medications and cause additional effects. It is best to avoid drinking alcohol. In addition, excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver, lining of the stomach and small intestine. All these structures are necessary for the effective absorption of vitamins and nutrients.  

How to treat ankylosing spondylitis – consider probiotics: studies show that using probiotics can benefit patients with ankylosing spondylitis. This will allow your intestines to be filled with good bacteria, which can help fight bad bacteria along with supporting a healthy immune system. Certain foods also contain probiotics, including yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.

Foods to Avoid with AS: You need to avoid foods that cause inflammation. These foods include sugar, salt, and high-sodium foods, red meat, high-fat foods, flour, wheat, and gluten, as well as alcohol. You will also want to track your own food triggers, as each person is different. You can discover your own food triggers by keeping a food diary and documenting your reaction and symptoms associated with eating certain foods. Some diets can make things worse, including diets that contain alfalfa, copper, zinc, low-calorie, low-fat, and low-protein diets. Consult your doctor about what is the best diet for you and your condition.

Exercises for ankylosing spondylitis

For many ailments, rest in bed is usually a recommendation. But for people living with ankylosing spondylitis, lying in bed and resting can worsen the symptoms. Therefore, it is important to train and keep moving. How to treat ankylosing spondylitis with exercise?

Exercise should focus on the back, chest, and limbs. But be careful and know your limits – overdoing can cause pain. Here are some useful exercises for patients with ankylosing spondylitis:

  • Stand with your back to the wall. Lay your head slowly on the wall, but do not tilt it forward. Hold for five seconds, release and repeat.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your waist. Turn your upper body as if you are looking to the side, but your legs are still pointing forward. Hold this position, release, and repeat. Make sure you do this on both sides and focus on your breath.
  • Lie on your back, bending your knees, legs flat on the ground. Put your hands on your ribs and take a deep breath so that your ribs press on your hands. Then put your hands on your chest and repeat.
  • Lie on your stomach, looking straight, hands near. Lift one leg up with your opposite arm up in front of you at the same time and hold.
  • Standing position: it may be easier to perform this exercise in front of the mirror. Standing on your heels about 10 cm from the wall, keep your shoulders and buttocks as close to the wall as possible without harming yourself. Hold for five seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Lying position: performed on a hard surface, like a bare floor, lying face down for 15 to 20 minutes. You can hold your head face down or rotate it in both directions if it is more convenient.
  • Swimming. By performing the breaststroke technique, you can build and maintain breast expansion. It is also a great way to increase the flexibility of the spine, neck, shoulders, and hips.
  • Deep breathing: can help increase and maintain lung volume, as well as provide chest flexibility. Breathing slowly through your nose or mouth while holding one hand on your stomach helps you assess the rise and fall of inhalation and exhalation.
  • Yoga: May help relieve pain and increase flexibility. It can also help reduce stress and tension, promote quiet sleep. Yoga can be difficult alone, so it is recommended that you join a class or friends, as this will help you increase your range of motion and help you progress to higher levels.
  • Walking: Keep your spine as straight as possible while walking, this helps improve your posture.
  • Sitting pose: what we do most of the day is important that you do not sit wrong. A well-designed chair that does not encourage stoop will help. The most optimal is to sit with the spine straight or in an ergonomic position with a square shape of the shoulders.
  • Sleep Pose: It is recommended that you sleep with your spine as evenly as possible. By purchasing a hard mattress, this can be achieved more easily. Do not use the pillow while you are sleeping on your stomach, or by using a thin pillow while sleeping on your back, you can increase the straight spine.

Disease Prevention Exercises

Although exercises can benefit patients with ankylosing spondylitis, some exercises should be avoided, as they can do more harm than good. Such actions include step aerobics, running, weightlifting, kickboxing, cross-training, jumping, squats, and leg lifts. These types of exercises put stress on the back and spine, which can worsen symptoms and increase the risk of injury.

Talk to your doctor before starting a workout to make sure it is safe for you. You can also start by visiting a physical therapist to get an idea of ​​how to perform certain movements. Finally, let your body be your vehicle – if it is not feeling well, stop exercising. How to treat ankylosing spondylitis see above. 

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