Last updated: September 2023
Hi all - and hope you're all managing okay.
I write this as I have just had a great meeting with my niece's new husband and wanted to let you all know of his insights.
Why would I bother you with this, you must be asking?
Well - he's an orthopaedic surgeon.
Moreover, and amazingly, his father is a world-renowned ortho surgeon, and his mum is too!! Seems like I have had a bit of luck amongst this AS crap!!!!!
He has advised me to go to a swimming pool, and just sit there. Make no movements. His advice was that i sit in a pool as often as I can for about a month, letting the ant-gravitational forces gently allow my back to start getting relief and also helping it in straightening a bit.
After a month, he suggests, it will be time to start building muscle tone in my back (where I have my problems). Again, without much movement, he says what needs to be done is to start "swimming" with my arms - without actually moving my body. The resistance of the water will automatically - if slowly - start building tone amongst the correct muscles that surround the spine, and add strength.
Once that starts to actually work (obviously we're all different and will advance at differing rates) you can start getting more active.
All in all the pool seems to be the surest, safest and most effective way to counter the ankylosing of your spinal column.
I will be starting this weekend, so will gladly keep you posted if you're interested. I am overjoyed at being able to take my little ones to the pool - and actually join them in the water!!!! i have been simply too scared until now (despite being 60 years old, I have 3 young kids).
Of course, having one of these types in the family, with no financial or professional axe to grind or financial pressure to give heartfelt advice is probably as good as it gets. I guess that if I could get one of my kids to marry a consultant Rheumatologist would also not be a bad idea, however the Rhuems are only great at the diagnostic side of things. The Ortho is the guy (or gal) who then have to deal with the outcomes - in the worst cases.
Interestingly, he tells me that on an average day he sees several new cases of people with these probs (not just AS,, but other spinal problems too). He is also the ER ortho surgeon, so sees all types.
I hope this gives hope and hep to you guys, and let me know if you have any similar types of suggestions.
Do you notice worsening flares in colder weather?