Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Besides seeing your doctor regularly and taking your medications as prescribed, here are some things you can do to help your condition.

  • Stay active. Exercise can help ease pain, maintain flexibility and improve your posture.
  • Apply heat and cold. Heat applied to stiff joints and tight muscles can ease pain and stiffness. Try heating pads and hot baths and showers. Ice on inflamed areas can help reduce swelling.
  • Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit. Smoking is generally bad for your health, but it creates additional problems for people with ankylosing spondylitis, including further hampering breathing.
  • Practice good posture. Practicing standing straight in front of a mirror can help you avoid some of the problems associated with ankylosing spondylitis.

Coping and support

The course of your condition can change over time, and you might have painful episodes (relapses) and periods of less pain (remissions) throughout your life. But most people are able to live productive lives despite a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis.

You might want to join an online or in-person support group of people with this condition, to share experiences and support.