Know All About Ankylosing Spondylitis

Effective Exercises for Ankylosing Spondylitis

ankylosing spondylitis exercises

Ankylosing Spondylitis! Have you heard about this before? For those who don’t know, it is a form of arthritis that affects the spine, the most awful of its kind. Those who are aware of it know how painful it is.

This article is written specifically on the encouragement of my friend who is suffering from ankylosing Spondylitis. Although it is for her that we take up this research, we bring forward this piece for the benefit of all those who have been distressed by the condition like her.

During our research, we discovered many facts about this condition, we couldn’t help but sympathize with her when we realized the pain she is going through daily. It is extremely painful and the worst part is that there is no known ankylosing spondylitis cure.

Those who are affected by it will agree with us when we say that all they can do about it is hope to get some relief from the pain through natural ways like ankylosing spondylitis exercises. But before we look at that, let us understand the ankylosing spondylitis causes and symptoms.

What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the spine and the sacroiliac joint in the pelvis. The nature of inflammation is such that it may lead to eventual fusion of the spine, which later results in a complete rigidity of the spine.

Here are some facts about ankylosing spondylitis (AS):

  • It affects nearly 0.1% to 0.5% of the population.
  • It occurs at any age and most often strikes in teens and 20’s.
  • It affects males 2 to 3 times more commonly than females.
  • A genetically inherited condition in which HLA-B27 gene was detected in the most patients with AS.
  • It can also affect your eyes, lungs, heart and kidneys.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms

Those suffering from this condition experience one or more of the following ankylosing spondylitis symptoms.

  • Severe pain and stiffness in the spine, low back & buttock area
  • Pain in the back of the thigh
  • Pain and swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Generalized fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Inflammation of the iris (Redness and pain in the eye)
  • Scarring of the lungs

There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis. However, physical activity and certain medications can reduce symptoms of AS. The pain and stiffness get worse with rest and may improve with physical activity.

Therefore, it is recommended that spondylitis treatment comprise of exercises which relieves it. As ankylosing spondylitis exercise is the best remedy, we present to you the following exercises which are sure to help you manage your pain in the lower back, knee, neck and shoulders.

Exercise For Ankylosing Spondylitis

1. Back Stretches

Back Stretches

  1. Get down on the floor on your hands and knees.
  2. Allow your head to droop.
  3. Move your back up towards the ceiling until you feel a good stretch in lower, middle and upper back.
  4. Hold this stretch for about 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Return to the initial position with a flat back.
  6. Press your stomach towards the floor and allow your back to sway.
  7. Lift your back upwards and hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds
  8. Repeat this procedure for 2 to 4 times.

Note: This is the best back pain relief exercise for any kind of back issues.

2. Shoulder And Upper Back Stretch

Shoulder And Upper Back Stretch

  1. Sit in a firm chair or stand up straight.
  2. Look straight ahead; breathe in while raising both your arms toward the ceiling.
  3. Do not tilt your head back.
  4. Stretch your shoulders
  5. Breathe normally and hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds.
  6. Return to the initial position.
  7. Repeat this procedure for 2 to 4 times.

3. Chest Expansion

Chest Expansion

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair with feet and shoulder wide apart.
  2. Look straight without tilting your head. Open your arms out to the sides and take a deep breath. Roll your arms towards the back.
  3. With palms facing outwards, you will feel a stretch across your chest.
  4. Hold this stretch and breathe normally for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Lower arms to your sides and turn your palms back towards your legs and slowly breathe out.
  6. Repeat this procedure for 2 to 4 times.

4. Up and Back Extension

Up and Back Extension

  1. Lie down on your stomach by supporting your body with the forearms.
  2. Raise your upper back by pressing your elbows towards down on the floor. Allow your back to arch and relax your stomach muscles. Do not let your pelvis or hips come off the floor while you press up.
  3. Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds and then relax.
  4. Repeat this procedure for 2 to 4 times.

5. Neck Stretches

Neck Stretches

  1. Stand up straight or sit in a firm chair.
  2. Turn your head straight to the right and hold for 15-30 seconds.
  3. Similarly, turn your head to the left.
  4. Repeat this procedure for 2 to 4 times each side.
  5. The next step is head tilts. Tilt your right ear toward the right shoulder and hold for a few seconds.
  6. Similarly, tilt your left ear to left shoulder and hold for a few seconds.
  7. Repeat this procedure for 2 to 4 times each side.

6. Arm And Leg Exercise

Arm and Leg Exercise

  1. Get down on the floor on your hands and knees.
  2. Tighten your stomach muscles
  3. Lift one leg and hold it straight out. Do not drop your hip down.
  4. Hold this posture for 6 seconds, then bring your leg down and switch to the other leg.
  5. Repeat this procedure for 8 to 12 times with each leg.
  6. Try to increase your holding time to 10-30 seconds.
  7. If you are comfortable with your leg raised, try lifting the opposite arm straight out towards your front at the same time.
  8. Do this exercise slowly and should keep your body straight throughout the exercise.

Be Sure To Follow These Tips For Better Results

  • It might be easier to work out after a warm bath or shower.
  • Don’t perform any physical activity when you are experiencing severe pain.
  • Always start with gentle exercises and gradually increase the intensity only if you are not in pain.
  • The frequency of exercise for spondylitis can be increased depending upon the tolerance of your body.

It is recommended that you take supplements like omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil or flaxseed oil as they help reduce the pain. Hope these exercises will help all my friends out there, those who are suffering from ankylosing spondylitis.

Do you know any other physical activity for ankylosing spondylitis or any other type of ankylosing spondylitis treatment that worked for you? Be sure to let us know in the comments box below.

Image Sources:,,,  noexcuseshealth.files,

3 thoughts on “Effective Exercises for Ankylosing Spondylitis

  1. Honey Koria says:

    Hello Akshata & Mukta,

    You are such dear friends to me that I cannot express my gratitude well enough. Thanks for writing such an informative article about AS. I’ll definitely incorporate these exercises in my daily routine. Also I’ll try to be consistent in taking Omega 3 supplements from now on. Lots of love!!!

      • CHANDRA MOHAN says:

        Hii. Akshta Agarwal ,,, Thanks for sharing such a wonderful information.. i m suffering from AS since last 10 years. Hope this will help me alot..
        Thanks Lots of Love

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