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#259874 - 10/24/13 09:04 PM Goals for exercise and physical therapy
amysue Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 10/18/13
Posts: 24
I am newly diagnosed with AS. What should my goals be for exercise and physical therapy? Right now I am doing a 15-minute stretching session daily, and it helps me feel much better. I also have some PT sessions scheduled.

#259894 - 10/25/13 01:20 PM Re: Goals for exercise and physical therapy [Re: amysue]
JenInCincy Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 05/19/08
Posts: 13279
Loc: Cincinnati, OH
There are stretching and strengthening regimens out there but really, whatever you have been doing is probably fine ... if you want to add more cardiovascular I suggest starting with something gentle like walking or cycling or using machines at the gym like the elliptical trainer.

Since the pain and stiffness of spondylitis are caused by systemic inflammation there's no standard PT regimen that is helpful. PT can help identify areas that are weak but in my experience they usually don't tell me anything I didn't already know smile And strengthening those areas has never helped reduce my spondy pain, unfortunately. I know some others have had different experiences so PT is something that likely won't hurt & might help if the time and expense are not excessive.
Jen, 42, happy partner of James and Moma to Evan, 14, & Lucy, 12.5 (Crohn's dx @ age 3; on Remicade since April 2010.) I take piroxicam, Flexeril, & Nucynta ER nightly. 3 anti-TNFs didn't pan out for me.

"Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance." -- Hippocrates

#263641 - 01/21/14 03:08 PM Re: Goals for exercise and physical therapy [Re: amysue]
Gail Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 01/18/14
Posts: 3
Loc: Illinois
Thanks for the reply on the PT. I have been seeing a PT for my back pain. now that my AS diagnosis has been confirmed I too was wondering just how much PT will help. I find my cross training with cardio and stretching of course makes me feel the best.

#268675 - 10/02/14 12:01 PM Re: Goals for exercise and physical therapy [Re: amysue]
everydaybattle Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 09/24/14
Posts: 32
Currently, I'm only doing 15 minute stretch sessions, myself. I want to get into some serious training in the future.

For a while, I was under the impression that you just couldn't do any working out with AS. Now that I'm finding posts like these, it's inspiring.

#268929 - 10/14/14 11:26 AM Re: Goals for exercise and physical therapy [Re: amysue]
Ericsmom Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 232
Loc: Ventura County, CA
I think recommended exercise varies by Dr. and of course, by patient. My son was diagnosed at 11 and was we were very lucky to live near a top-notch children's hospital with very current rheumies. Once his symptoms were brought under control, eventually with biologics, he was referred to a PT. It was useful at first in teaching him a good stretching routine, but in the long run has not benefited him as he was extremely active with sports and got a good dose of exercise in anyway. His Dr. did encourage him to continue playing sports as he was able. His AS is most present in his ankles, heels, knees, hips and lower back. Fast forward to present- he is now 19 and has had to continue with some form of biologic. If he misses a dose he gets very stiff and achy very quickly. On the good side, he was able to continue with sports with his Dr.'s blessing. He ran cross country in high school but eventually gave it up to concentrate on club soccer. He is now playing Div 2 soccer in college and practices 2 hrs a day plus weight room and yoga. His pediatrics rheumy used him as a poster boy to the benefits of staying active. My son has definitely seen those benefits; while he must continue to use meds, he has relatively few flare-ups and is extremely flexible- probably the most flexible on his team. Of course, it may not all be due to exercise, but I do know that a couple of times when he had to stop exercising for a short period (appendicitis and then mono) he became much more stiff. He is diligent about stretching and always allows extra time in the morning to stretch before starting off. He is fortunate that he loves to stay active and it has really paid off for him. His new rheumy agrees that the more active a patient, the more flexible and mobile they will be. Of course you should always talk to your own Dr. before taking on any new exercise, but in our experience exercise has only benefited with no negative effects.


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