Three years ago, I was diagnosed with an inherited condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). I’m 23-years old. I’ve been advised to exercise, but I don’t see the point as I’m already in good condition from an active lifestyle. What can you tell me about this?
AS is a form of arthritis that causes the spine and sacroiliac joints to fuse in one place. This limits neck and back motion and affects posture. Later in life, a simple fall or minor trauma can cause serious injury.
Exercise has been proven to help all patients with this condition, including those with early stages of the disease. Special exercises are suggested to keep from ending up in a forward-stooped position.
More than half the adults with AS say the disease limits their ability to walk, sleep, perform their job, or enjoy sex. Exercise can improve flexibility and maintain movement. It has even been shown to help overall health for patients with AS.
Most doctors agree that early, regular exercise (5 days a week for 30 minutes) is the best medicine for AS.
Albrecht Falkenbach, MD, PhD. Disability Motivates Patients With Ankylosing Spondylitis for More Frequent Physical Exercise. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. March 2003. Vol. 84. No. 3. Pp. 382-383.
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