- by Portea HomeCare
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- May 01 2017
9 Ways to Tackle Spondylitis
For those of you who suffer from Spondylitis, you know that back pain and fatigue are the showstoppers of this condition and if anything they’re extremely unpredictable. In this article we’re going to take a look at a particular type of Spondylitis and how to cure it – Ankylosing Spondylitis.
This is a type of arthritis that affects the spine and causes stiffness from the neck to the lower back. The painful part of this condition is that the vertebrae of your spine start to fuse together and result in an extremely rigid spine. Stiffening isn’t it! It affects about 0.5% of the world’s adult population and hits men in their teens or early 20’s! In women it occurs slightly later and is milder and less common than men. Below are the most common symptoms for this condition. If you’re experiencing any of these then our advice would be to read this article in greater depth and visit your family doctor about the condition!
Constant Pain and Stiffness that continue in the hips, lower back and buttocks for more than three to four months.
Ankylosing spondylitis can cause an overgrowth of the bones, which may lead to abnormal joining of bones, called “bony fusion.”
These symptoms could spell danger for you, and as is the case in all other conditions the sooner you get medical attention the better it gets for you! Luckily in the case of Ankylosing Spondylitis there are a few proven remedies and ways to ease the discomfort. The list below is going to talk about just that!
KEEP MOVING – What this point basically means is that active is the best way forward for you. The more you get up and move around the better it is for your bones and joints. People who sit around on the couch or laze around at home watching TV for long hours tend to get the worst of the pain and discomfort. But the key thing to remember here is that the type of movement is not as important as the frequency. Low impact exercises such as walking are the best bet in this case.
MAKE YOUR MORNINGS BETTER – Our joints are like ketchup! When they’re stationary for a long time, the joint fluid tends to thicken and makes the joints stiff and hard to move. It’s for this reason that mornings are the worst. This is a daily affair, but these joints can be stirred or shaken up into active mode by repeated movements and exercise routines. Talk to your physician or physiotherapist and come up with certain exercise routines that you can follow once you wake up every morning to kick start your movement and minimize the stiffness in your lower back.
IMPROVE YOUR POOR POSTURE – Poor posture is detrimental to a patient suffering from Ankylosing spondylitis. When you’ve already got your joints and bones giving you trouble, the last thing you need to do is add on to that by having a poor posture. You need to take up what is known as posture training. Practice by standing against a wall and lying down face down on a firm surface. You need to stay tall with your head held high and a straight back. Don’t slouch or hunch. Practice posture training for 15-30 minutes every day without fail.
GET PHYSIO THERAPY – The next step after getting the correct posture is to start Physio Therapy. There are specific treatments designed just for Spondylitis relief which can be extremely beneficial for you. We know that with this condition, the risk of osteoporosis and heart disease are heightened, so a complete routine or regime with the perfect balance of range of motion exercise, aerobic training and strength training would do you a world of good not just getting relief but also improving you overall.
SHOWER IT OFF – Sometimes what you need when the fluid in your joints thickens and makes them stiff, is a warm bath or a warm shower to warm things up and get them moving again. The mornings can be the hardest with Ankylosing Spondylitis and warm showers and baths get the joints moving again and ease the stiffness. What might sound strange but is actually very helpful is doing certain exercises while in the shower. This has been very effective in releasing stiffness. You may also find that doing your posture training for ankylosing spondylitis after a warm bath or shower, when your body is warmed up, is easier for you.
STRETCH IN YOUR SLEEP –Fatigue is common in the condition of Spondylitis, and getting a good night’s sleep is important. At the same time, sleeping soundly with the discomfort is not as easy as you might have thought. What you need to focus on is making sure you sleep in the right posture. Try sleeping as straight as you can with a straight back and legs stretched out. Since you want your neck and head to be as straight as possible, use a small pillow so that your neck does not get bent. Try starting your early morning movements and stretching exercises while you’re still flat on your back in bed.
TAKE A DIVE – Exercises and stretches that are good for the lower back on land, are most of the times better and more effective in water. Studies have shown that the exercises that are done in water are consistently effective and good for spondylitis pain. The most commonly used water technique is walking in water, but the most effective and fun way is exercising in the pool. There’s no surprise that most gyms and health clubs that have the pool facility, have water aerobics and other water based exercise batches. Join one if you know of any nearby!
SHED THE EXTRA KILOS – If you ever needed motivation to lose the extra weight and get fit, this is it! Excess body weight and obesity adds the extra unnecessary pressure on your joints and bones that can be avoided if you decide that now would be a good time to get back in shape, for the sake of your back pain! Include healthy green vegetables and fruits in your diet and balance it out with the right amount of fats, proteins and carbs. Make these swaps, and the weight should come off more easily.
QUIT SMOKING AND OTHER FORMS OF INTOXICATION – If you’re a smoker or an alcoholic, now would be the perfect time to sober up. Smoking not only increases pain but also reduces the effects of exercise and the spondylitis medication that is meant to alleviate the pain in the lower back. Surveys also show that smokers with ankylosing spondylitis consistently rate their pain, stiffness, and inflammation as being worse than non-smokers.
By Dr. Hirna B
For physiotherapy treatment, you can always call Portea on 1800-121-2323 and heal at home.
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