Personally, I’m notorious for opting out of my responsibility to maintain the highest quality of life that I can with this disease. The list below started as a series of notes to myself about ways that I could improve my ankylosing spondylitis treatment after a week of selfishly avoiding taking care of it.
Is there something you’ve been struggling with that, perhaps, isn’t on this list? Leave a comment below and let me know about it – putting these struggles into writing can help give us power over them.
1. Exercise and Physical Therapy
You aren’t exercising enough. Yeah, we’ve all heard that the best way to deal with ankylosing spondylitis is physical therapy and exercise. Studies have shown
supervised training and home exercise improve long-term outcome in AS patients. So why would you be avoiding it?
Register for that embarrassing yoga class, join a gym and talk to your doctor about physical therapy. There’s no better time than now to begin to consider just how important a role exercise plays in maintaining your mobility. For life.
If exercise is a good idea for people who don’t have to worry about their bones fusing, how much better of an idea is it for you?
2. Listen to Your Doctor and Stop Avoiding Medications
So you saw the list of side effects that biologics and DMARDs can cause and now you think that it’s best to avoid them altogether, eh? Consider this: they’re known as side effects for a reason. They are the outliers when it comes to the usage of medications.
By avoiding treatments proven in clinical trials to help, you’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
We live in time where medical science has finally advanced where patients receive more relief than ever before. It’s foolish to not use that to your advantage in your battle against ankylosing spondylitis.
3. Eat Healthier, Eat Smarter
Just like exercising, the healthier you eat, the more manageable your AS will become.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a low starch or a no starch diet
can help significantly decrease your AS symptoms. Not only that, but plenty of sufferers argue that they have even managed to put their ankylosing spondylitis in complete remission using this method. Besides, reaching a healthy weight means removing unneeded pressure on your already painful joints.
If you are what you eat, why wouldn’t you want to be more natural?
4. Start Tracking Your Pain Triggers
You’re locked in an everyday battle against ankylosing spondylitis, you need to learn your enemy and all their moves. The best way to do this is to track your pain on a regular basis.
If you wake up in more pain the day after eating pasta than after eating salad, how are you going to know if you don’t keep track of it? What about when you lift weights versus when you practice yoga?
Because the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis vary so much from victim to victim, tracking your pain is even more important.
5. Don’t Ignore Your Social Support Group
You absolutely can’t win your battle against ankylosing spondylitis by fighting alone. Psychological effects of chronic pain
include things like depression and impairment of cognitive function. No one can expect to handle these things on their own.
Foster your family ties and friendships. No matter how painful your body may feel today, it’ll only feel worse when experienced under the long shadow of loneliness.