Exercise is an integral part of treating spondyloarthritis. A holistic approach to spondyloarthritis – which treats the whole person, includes exercise and wellness practices – and is the gold standard.
Exercise can counteract some of the impacts of spondyloarthritis, helping you maintain more of your mobility and flexibility. According to doctors and patients alike, exercise is effective in controlling pain. In fact, in no other type of arthritis is the role of exercise more important.
Exercise has been shown to optimize physical and mental health in everybody. In addition to directly increasing strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility, some of the other physical benefits of exercise include improving cardiovascular endurance, reducing high blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol (HDL), maximizing bone density, helping weight management and possibly even enhancing response to medications.
For those with spondyloarthritis, regular exercise can help improve posture, stiffness, pain, fatigue, breathing capacity, and therefore overall function. Remember that it is your doctor’s job to help control the pain, inflammation and stiffness so that you can maintain a healthy exercise program. It is often difficult to exercise or participate in physical activity if pain persists due to active inflammation. A good treatment plan must include exercise/physical activity. A physical therapist can help you craft an individualized stretching and strengthening program to fit specific needs.
SAA has developed a number of exercise resources, including a video of workouts and routines designed specifically for those with spondyloarthritis. We also offer a plethora of other information and resources, including a free downloadable PDF demonstrating helpful stretches and strengthening moves.