Glossary On Self Care

Ankylosing spondylitis patients usually face many periods of ups and downs during the course of the disease - there are days when the disease gets troublesome and times when they don’t even realize anything's wrong. However, making certain changes in their lifestyle can take them a long way and help them to deal more effectively with their arthritis and other symptoms. Based on our experience of treating many patients over the last 35 years at Dr. Batra's, we have found that the following can be helpful to patients of ankylosing spondylitis; these tips have a scientific backing and have also been repeatedly verified at the clinic level:

  • Maintain a healthy weight - lose that extra weight, if any, to avoid worsening of the joint pain
  • Eat a varied diet including plenty of calcium rich foods (sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, ragi), whole grains, fruit and vegetables
  • Alcoholic beverages weaken bones. Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases a person's chances of developing weakened bones
  • Decrease your intake of saturated fats (dairy, red meat), salt and sugar
  • Swimming, underwater exercises (preferably in a warm pool) are good for people with ankylosing spondylitis
  • Deep breathing exercises help improve as well as maintain the lung capacity
  • Avoid sports or any activities that involve the risk of falling
  • Sleep on a mattress that is firm (not hard). Avoid using thick pillows since they cause the neck to bend forward
  • While working, sit in a chair that has an upright firm back
  • A hot bath or shower in the morning may help reduce pain and stiffness
  • Stop smoking
Ankylosing Spondylitis