Besides finding appropriate medication, here are how diet and exercise can be part of an overall treatment plan for AS.

How diet may play a role in AS

Although there may be some diet plans that are promoted as being good for ankylosing spondylitis, few of these claims have been substantiated in clinical studies. Some people with AS and other chronic inflammatory conditions have found that certain foods trigger changes in symptoms. You might want to try keeping a food diary over a few weeks to see if there are differences in symptoms—better or worse—and to detect possible food sensitivities.


The importance of exercise in AS

Getting regular exercise is vital in managing ankylosing spondylitis, as it can help prevent permanent stiffness and preserve range of motion in your back and neck. Talk to your rheumatologist, who may recommend you see a physical therapist who can work with you on your overall exercise program, but here are a few exercises you can try:

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  • Deep-breathing exercises and aerobic activities can help keep your chest and rib cage flexible.
  • Swimming can help keep your spine, neck, shoulders, and hips flexible.
  • Strength training and aerobic exercises are a good choice for overall health.
  • Yoga and other stress-reduction technologies like meditation, tai chi, and massage can help manage pain. Many people with AS report stress reduction is important to their ability to manage pain, as stress and anxiety can make symptoms worse.

Practicing good posture is also important, as it can help ease some pain and stiffness. For examples of specific exercises you can try, other tips, and all the AS info you need, sign up now.

Before starting a new exercise plan, discuss with your rheumatologist if it’s right for you.

Exercise Tips From the Spondylitis Association of America

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  • Exercises should be done daily
  • Begin with exercises that warm up your body
  • Exercise on a carpeted floor or a mat
  • Learn to give priority to areas that need exercise the most
  • Start new exercises carefully and begin with low repetitions
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I had to learn to trade off and substitute some things, like biking for stationary biking more often.

Real AS patient


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Learn about a treatment option that might be right for you and discuss with your doctor.