LIVING WITH ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS (AS)

Ankylosing spondylitis—a chronic, inflammatory disease—can primarily cause pain in your back, neck, and hips. Pain and stiffness can also occur in other areas of the body such as your shoulders, ribs, heels, and small joints of the hands and feet. The pain associated with AS can also interfere with your sleep, making you feel tired. Because AS can affect you in so many ways, it’s important to talk to your rheumatologist about all of your symptoms and about a treatment plan.

Besides finding the right medication(s), here are a few other steps you can take to help you manage living with ankylosing spondylitis:

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Exercise regularly

Back pain caused by AS tends to get worse when you’ve been sitting or lying down for a long period of time, but exercise can help. Exercise has been shown to help maintain mobility and range of motion.

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Get enough sleep

Fatigue is a common problem for those with ankylosing spondylitis. Ask your doctor for tips on improving sleep.

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Connect with a support group

Of course, finding a community to help support you in the ways you need it and maintaining overall health can help you manage AS.

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Use ways to help make activities easier

While finding the right treatment with your rheumatologist is the best way to control your AS, there are small things you can do to help make daily life easier. Here are 3 things to help you get started:

  1. A lumbar support seat cushion for when you need to sit for long periods of time
  2. Have looser-fit, pull-on clothes on hand for days you're having symptoms
  3. Applying heat can be soothing—try a heat pad, electric blankets, or a hot bath

GET HEALTHY RECIPES IN A
FREE WELLNESS BOOK

Ankylosing Spondylitis wellness book

Sign up for helpful info and an Ankylosing Spondylitis Wellness Book with recipes, symptom trackers to share with your doctor, and more.

FACE THE FACTS
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One study found that overall, smokers
with AS have 5.5 times greater spinal
damage than non-smokers.

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And it’s even worse for men: the effect
of disease activity as revealed by x-
rays of damage was more than 13
times greater among male smokers
compared to female non-smokers.

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GET A GUIDE TO TALKING TO YOUR DOCTOR

Make the most of your next appointment with a downloadable Doctor Discussion Guide.

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DISCOVER A TREATMENT
OPTION FOR AS

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