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Is there any exercise for ankylosing spondylitis?

Q: I am a 30 years old man having ankylosing spondylitis (AS). My HLAB27 test was positive 4 years back. I had been complaining of lower back pain but off late the peripheral joints are being affected. Are there any special exercises, which can help fight AS? How helpful is Yoga/ayurvedic treatment for AS? Is it advisable to have children considering they will be prone to AS? I weight 78 kg and my height is 5.8 feet.

A:Please realise that ankylosing spondylitis is a relatively serious long-term inflammatory rheumatic disease that is genetic in nature; it needs careful evaluation of the

  1. Disease activity.
  2. Disease-related damage.
This can be done only by trained rheumatologists who are well updated with the recent advances in this field. Instead of answering your questions, my advice is that you immediately find out a rheumatologist and take an appointment with the rheumatologist for the detailed evaluation as above. Once that is done, you may clarify all the related issues. It is extremely important that you should be on regular long-term treatment of a good rheumatologist. Please remember that proper scientific exercises (not Yoga etc. - never proven to be of much effect in any scientific published study) are part of the treatment that the rheumatologist would advice you. But, exercises alone usually do not prevent progression of the disease and damage; they have to be done along with proper drugs that only a rheumatologist can advise. As the disease is genetic in nature, your children may carry the same genes and if so, they would have 8 times more chances of getting this disease than the general population.

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