Unfortunately you can’t cure ankylosing spondylitis but you can successfully manage it following steps below. We’ll get in more detail on every aspect of treatment, but for now enjoy those top tips for managing your AS.
See a rheumatologist.
It’s crucial that you stay under the care of your rheumatologist. A rheumatologist should diagnose your AS so do make sure your GP has referred you. Once you’ve been diagnosed do go back for all your appointments.
Make your peace with your AS.
It can be difficult, especially if you’ve just been diagnosed, but you need to face your AS rather than ignoring it. Making peace with your condition and accepting your needs will help with your relationships, social and work life. Most importantly stay positive, take care of your emotional needs, don’t abandon your little pleasures or your big dreams. Learn to love yourself the way you are.
Become an expert.
Do your research and try to understand your meds. There always will be benefits and risks with every medications. Talk to your your rheumatologist, nurse, GP or even your pharmacist if you haven’t got all the information you need.
Being active is so important. Get your muscles stronger, stretch your joints, improve your posture, go for a walk regularly. It’s not about being a fitness freak but improving your symptoms and improving your ankylosing spondylitis. Consult your physiotherapist on which exercises are best for you and maintain an active lifestyle. You can exercise safely in a gym with our Back to Action guide and videos.
Take it easy on yourself.
We don’t want to contradict ourselves but take it easy on yourself. Fatigue can be a big issue with AS so you need to know your limits and find a balanced way to carry on with your activities. There’s no point in having a strict regime for a week and then stopping for months. It’s easy to lose a motivation when you’re trying too hard, especially when you’re in pain. Little and often works best. Why not try a stretch or two in the shower or while you’re waiting for your toast to pop up? Spoil yourself, take a steamy bath or shower to loosen up stiff muscles and joints.
Eat a rainbow
Eat healthily with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Try to eat a rainbow of differently coloured fruit and vegetable every day (or at least every week!). Keep your diet balanced with proteins, wholegrain carbs, vitamins and minerals (especially calcium). This will improve your overall wellbeing and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Join the club
Stay informed, with up-to-date information on treatment, benefits, exercising and AS community. The best way to do that is to become a member of NASS. This way you can stay connected in a massive network of people living with AS, feel less alone and exchange more tips and solutions to manage this condition.