Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic form of arthritis that affects the bones and joints at the bottom region of the spine where this links up to the pelvic bones. The inflammation of the joints occurs alongside swelling of the affected regions. With time, the bones in the affected region fuse together with the resultant effect of a taut back that creates a bent position. Working on the patient’s posture is very important and can be managed with the introduction of physical therapy in ankylosing spondylitis management.
This is not to day that medication is not important, but when physical therapy is combined with medication, it provides elemental care in the management of Ankylosing spondylitis (abbreviated AS). Should a patient choose to add this form of care to their plans, then it is crucial to know what to expect. Take note that physical therapy must be performed by a qualified therapist in order to get the benefits of this treatment.
Components that one should expect from physical therapy in ankylosing spondylitis management
The physical therapist attending to the patient will oversee a range of activities including stretching exercise, exercises that target proper posture and even advice on tips that patients can use to improve their lifestyle. Two of the most important considerations that a therapist will always make mention of include the use of a proper mattress as well as the correct chair at the workplace, bearing in mind the aspect of ergonomics. This is done with the intention of helping the patient lead quality life.
Since AS is a disease that is characterized with inflammation, and which affects the spine, it is likely that functionality of the same will be adversely affected. For this cause, it is integral to use modalities for supporting purposes. Physical therapy in this regard is aimed at motion as well as posture. The obvious reason for this is that if your posture is not great, there are great chances that the bones of the spine will fuse resulting in the characteristic hunched position associated with this condition. At the end of the day, physical therapy in ankylosing spondylitis helps improve the kind of life that the patients lead.
Among the most fundamental facets of physical therapy in AS is the ability for patients to self-manage the condition so that they do not always require external support to get by. This is because if the spine loses mobility, it is almost always accompanied by a decrease in aerobic activity. This is because the rib cage also loses flexibility, making breathing difficult since the expansion of the lungs during inhalation is hampered. Physical therapy in ankylosing spondylitis also helps with management of pain in the tendons. Habitual movements must be corrected in this regard if mobility in the long term is to be maintained. Qualified physical therapists will also help come up with fitness plans that help patients remain active and even oversee restoration of mobility depending on the advancement of the disease.