Flexibility and Strengthening Exercises for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Exercises for ankylosing spondylitis should be gentle and frequent. The exercises shown here are good to do twice each day. Don’t do them first thing in the morning, when you may feel more stiff. In the morning, take a walk to get loosened up for the day. Then try doing these exercises around lunch time and in the evening. Or, do one or two exercises at a time and spread them out through the day. You can do the exercises in any order that you like.

Talk with your doctor or physical therapist if you have questions about how to do these or any other exercises.

Back stretches

  1. Get down on your hands and knees on the floor.
  2. Relax your head and allow it to droop.
  3. Round your back up toward the ceiling until you feel a nice stretch in your upper, middle, and lower back.
  4. Hold this stretch for as long as it feels comfortable, or about 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Return to the starting position with a flat back while you are on your hands and knees.
  6. Let your back sway by pressing your stomach toward the floor. Lift your buttocks toward the ceiling.
  7. Hold each position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  8. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

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