Exercise is an integral part of any spondylitis program, along with good posture habits and medication to reduce pain and stiffness. Fitting exercise into your day can be tough, but it needs to be done. Exercise is such a high priority that it is important to make time for it each day (even 5-10 minutes during a work break is helpful). If you do, many benefits will result from your efforts. A spondylitis exercise program will help you maintain good posture, flexibility and eventually help to lessen pain. In many cases, good posture and mobility can even be regained with proper doses of medicine and exercise. Most people with spondylitis feel much better with exercise. The trick is to do enough but not too much. This can vary from day to day. Be good to yourself and never push to the point of pain or extreme fatigue.
Before beginning any new exercise program, consult your physician or physical therapist. They can help provide modifications to suit your particular needs. Ask which exercises you should do and then check to see that you are doing them correctly.
How to Get Started
Exercise at a time of day that is convenient. If you are typically stiff in the morning, that may be the time to start loosening up, but you can only get your best stretches after the stiffness lessens. Midday or evening may be the only times you are comfortable doing the exercises. If necessary, split up your exercises during the day. For example, do exercises lying down first, then later in the day work on your neck stretches.