3 Tips to Help Relieve AS Symptoms

I don’t have to tell you how frustrating and debilitating your symptoms can be. From joint pain to blurred vision, many ways in which ankylosing spondylitis (AS) symptoms can impact your life. For instance, joint pain can impact our ability to work due to difficulty sitting for an extended period or missing work due to doctor appointments. Additionally, blurred vision can impact our personal lives, as spending time with friends in the evening hours might become arduous if you need to travel to see them.

While there is no cure for AS, there are things that can be done to lessen the symptoms. Whether self-care, therapies, or medications, there are tangible actions that we can take to live and move better. As a health coach, I've seen the amazing benefits that self-care coupled with therapy and medication can have for clients. That’s why I’m sharing three self-care tips that can help relieve some of your symptoms and make your daily life a little easier.

1. Stretching

Although it might seem obvious, I cannot ignore the importance of stretching. Stretching has many benefits in general, but specifically for AS, it can help reduce pain and build flexibility. The one caveat I will give is that it’s essential that we know our bodies so that we don’t overextend ourselves. While adding a spine or lower back stretch to our daily routine can be helpful, ensuring that we’re performing that movement properly is essential. I’ve found that YouTube and Pinterest can be great resources that provide step-by-step videos to help with performing each movement correctly.

2. Self-Massage

One of the things that we may often dismiss is that we don’t need to book an appointment to get in a great massage. Self-massage can be performed using our hands, a foam roller, a tennis ball, or a massage tool if available. The great thing about self-massage is that it’s easily accessible. Like stretching, it’s essential that we apply the right amount of pressure and do our due diligence to ensure we are correctly applying self-massaging techniques. If at any point you feel any pain or numbness in your body, it’s essential to consult a physician.

3. Movement

It should go without saying that moving our bodies regularly is a great way to ensure that we’re not as stiff. However, movement doesn’t need to entail exercise. It can be setting a Pomodoro timer to remind you to get up every 25 minutes for a 5-minute walk around your home. Or it might be an afternoon session of chair yoga. The point is not to dismiss the importance of movement when exercise isn’t an option for us. There are plenty of ways to move our bodies, and finding the best one that works for us to do regularly is critical.

While these tips may not work for everyone, I hope you find them helpful for managing your AS. Have you tried any of these techniques to help relieve your symptoms? What works best for you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. We can all learn from one another.

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