Ankylosing Spondylitis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
gonna show you some stretches and exercises for ankylosing spondylitis. Let’s get started. Say what?! That is a long word, isn’t it? Basically it’s an inflammation in the spine.
It gets the joint capsule and the ligaments, and over time if it continues to swell up,
the spine ends up fusing together and you lose a lot of range of motion. So the goal
is to keep that range of motion in there. So I’m gonna show you some simple exercises
here lying down on the ground first. So prop up your knees, get nice and comfortable. And
you’re just gonna start off with a simple pelvic tilt. And what the pelvic tilt is,
is you’re tilting your pelvis down into the ground, or into the mat, and taking your stomach
and back and flattening it out. I often tell people it’s like you’re fake laughing. Go
“ha, ha, ha!” And everything goes down into the ground. So just push down. Hold that for
about 3 – 5 seconds and come back up. Sometimes people have a little difficulty doing this,
so if you don’t feel like you’re doing it quite right, slide you hands underneath your
back and then just push your back down into it. But make sure you’re tightening up those
abdominal muscles as well. So pushing down, fake laugh, ha ha ha, and relax. So just do
about 10 of those, just to kind of get everything loosened up in there. The next one is gonna
be a trunk rotation. So still keeping your knees propped up, put your feet together,
put your legs together, and just gently rotate them to one side. You don’t have to go all
the way to the ground cause you want to keep the rest of your back pretty flat. And then
come back and rotate to the other side. Now the lower back’s gonna come up just a little
bit, but you don’t want your shoulders to come up, too. So, again, just kind of go down.
You can hold it for about 3 – 5 seconds on each side, or you can just do a continuous
motion rotating back and forth. Starting off with about 10, and then you can work your
way up to 20 – 25. The next one is gonna be a bridge. So this time, like the pelvic tilt
where you’re pushing down, you’re actually gonna bring your bottom up into the air until
you kind of straighten everything out right here. So spread your feet out about shoulder
width apart and then come up, alignment here, and slowly come back down. Like one segment
at a time in your back. So you’re really getting some movement there. So one segment there,
one segment there, one segment there. So not just plopping back down. Coming up nice and
controlled and coming down nice and controlled. Then you’re gonna stretch into a single knee
to chest. Bring your knee up towards you. Some people will tell you to grab up here.
I like to grab underneath because if you have knee issues, or some arthritis in your knees,
if you grab here, you’re not putting a lot of pressure on that joint. And then just pull
up this way towards your chest. Hold that for about 30 seconds, and then do the other
side. So just alternate back and forth. Really pulling up, holding that for 30 seconds. Just
to a spot that’s comfortable. Don’t go to where there’s any pain, just to where you
feel a nice good stretch in your lower back and then come back down. Doing 3 on each side.
Then you’re gonna roll over onto your stomach into the prone position. And then just prop
up on your elbows. And try and keep your hips flat down on the ground. Some people kind
of try and come up this way a little bit, but keep it flat because you want to stretch
the back area there. This might be enough for some people, getting that stretch. Hold
it there for about 30 seconds. Come back down. If you don’t feel like you’re getting quite
enough just propping up on your elbows, then you can actually push up just a little bit
on your hands. But again, keep your hips flat on the ground. Don’t bring them up like that
cause that takes away from the stretch just a little bit. Just coming up this way, about
30 seconds, and then come back down. Do about 3 of those and then if you’re propping this
way and it’s comfortable, you can work your way up to about a minute there. The last set
of stretches are gonna be in the quadruped position up on all fours. So this one is gonna
be the cat-cow, some people call it cat-dog, some people call it camel, but just arching
your back up, holding it for about 5 – 10 seconds, tucking your chin when you’re arching
up and then come down and bring your chin up forward looking straight ahead. Holding
it again. So your just kind of alternating back and forth, just getting that movement
in the spine, getting that circulation to get that inflammation out of there. So there
you have it. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you’d like
to check out some other videos, go to And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope
you feel better soon.


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