May 30, 2008

A Sedentary Lifestyle Could Cause You Ankylosing Spondylitis

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritic condition that affects the spine or backbone. It can also affect the eyes, heart, lungs, and occasionally the kidneys. Even though spondylitis may affect any age group, men in their 20s and 30s are more prone to being affected by this inflammatory arthritis condition.

Constant pain and stiffness in the lower back, buttocks, and hips are some of the early signs of spondylitis. Since spondylitis is a systemic disease, the symptoms may not be limited to the joints. Fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, and eye inflammation are some other common symptoms. The symptoms will intensify through the years.

Bad Posture And Genetics As A Cause

A sedentary lifestyle and wrong posture are some of the causative factors that can further aggravate symptoms. Although the exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, it is widely accepted that genetics play a vital role. The presence of HLA-B27 gene is one of the main causes of ankylosing spondylitis.

What Can Help Treat It?

Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis include:

  • Medications – They help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Physical therapy – It helps improve posture, spine mobility, and lung capacity.
  • Swimming is one of the best exercises for spondylitis. Apart from keeping the body supple and strengthening muscles, it helps to increase lung capacity. If pain or joint damage is severe, surgery may be needed.
  • Physiotherapy including various types of neck movements, breathing exercises, and stretching exercises helps to enhance joint mobility. Stiffness in the affected areas can be reduced by doing range of motion exercises. Strengthening exercises that are performed with weights can strengthen the muscles around the painful joints and can ease the condition.Exercises in water are helpful. Yoga, tai chi, bicycle riding, jogging and Pilates are beneficial for treating ankylosing spondylitis.
  • If you suffer from spondylitis, you need to practice a little discipline and watch your diet. Maintaining healthy weight is essential as excess weight can place considerable pressure on the body’s joints, and this may worsen joint problems.Include mackerel, tuna and salmon in your diet. Vitamin C rich foods like pears, apples, berries, pawpaws help build immunity. Your diet could include oats, shark fin soup, mussels, tripe, and Irish moss, which are high in proteoglycans that help to nourish cartilage tissue. Eliminate foods rich in cholesterol, fat, sugar and salt. Avoid consuming red meat as it increases inflammation levels in the body. Limit alcohol intake.
  • Practice good posture in order to avoid complications that can occur with spondylitis. It is also important to engage in regular breathing exercises. In order to reduce the symptoms, sleeping on a firm mattress, lying flat on the back, and avoiding the use of pillow is also recommended. It is necessary to avoid smoking as it greatly impairs the functioning of the lungs.


Even though there is no specific diet to prevent spondylitis, a healthy diet can help to reduce painful joints. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps to reduce joint inflammation. Stress and Anxiety causes depletetion of essential nutrients in the body like calcium and magnesium, resulting in the development of diseases like spondylitis. Minerals also help to ease ankylosing spondylosis, and magnesium, calcium, and sodium are some of the essential minerals that help to prevent spondylitis.