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Updated on November 30, 2020

Exercises for Axial Spondyloarthritis (Axial SpA) and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Exercise is an essential component for successful management of Spondyloarthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), in addition to your medication, healthy diet and maintaining an ideal weight.  Do discuss with your doctor or physiotherapist before you start any exercise program.

All the exercises can be done at home at your own pace.  Aim to exercise for around 30 minutes a day (or 150 minutes a week).  You do not need any special equipment, but it helps if you have a yoga mat, therapy band or towel, a stool and a yoga ball.

The exercises aim to help you with your

  • Posture
  • Breathing
  • Stretching
  • Strength

Click to view Novartis video on Exercises for AS

Breathing Exercises

Start your exercise routine with these Breathing Exercises

Place your hand on your abdomen to feel

  • The pushing of your abdomen OUT when INHALING
  • The pushing of your abdomen IN when EXHALING

Stretching Exercises

Stretching Exercises should be done 30-60 minutes daily to help loosen your spine.  Try not to push beyond the limits of your pain.  The movements should be gentle and slow.  Try to hold the stretch for 20 seconds for each stretch exercise and do 2-3 repetitions

  • Arm stretch while lying flat
  • Double knee bend to the chest
  • Single knee bend to the chest
  • Trunk rotation while lying flat
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Cat & Camel Stretch
  • Seated Spinal Rotation
  • Seated Hips Rotation

Strength Exercises

Strength exercises should be done 3 times a week.

For each exercise, hold for 5 seconds and then repeat 10-15 times

Do 2 sets of each exercise daily

  • Pelvic Tilt
  • Pelvic Tilt combined with Bridge
  • Dead Bug
  • Bird Dog
  • Upper Spinal Strength
  • Forearm Plank

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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