Ankylosing SpondylitisAS Treatment

Let's Talk About Treatment for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Having a chronic illness can be a tough adjustment—but managing the pain doesn't have to be. With AS, you've got plenty of treatment options.

    Our Pro PanelAnkylosing Spondylitis Treatment

    We went to some of the nation's top experts on ankylosing spondylitis to bring you the most up-to-date information possible:

    Anca Askanase, M.D. headshot.

    Anca Askanase, M.D.Rheumatologist, Director of Rheumatology Clinical Trials

    Columbia University Medical Center
    New York City
    Howard Blumstein, M.D. headshot.

    Howard Blumstein, M.D.Rheumatologist, Clinical Professor of Medicine

    Stony Brook University
    Smithtown, NY
    Jonathan Greer, M.D. headshot.

    Jonathan Greer, M.D.Rheumatologist, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

    University of Miami
    Palm Beach, FL

    Frequently Asked QuestionsAS Treatment

    Would a chiropractor be helpful?

    No! Chiropractors may provide relief for other types of backache, but their treatment is not appropriate for AS. In fact, they can make things worse. The decreased flexibility of the spine makes anyone with ankylosing spondylitis highly prone to spinal fracture, so the hands-on adjustments chiropractors make is not recommended.

    Do biologics prevent AS damage?

    The best we can say right now is maybe. Some studies suggest that they do not, while others have shown that they can reduce the progression of spinal damage seen on an X-ray by as much as 50%.

    Can I just stick to exercise if it’s helping?

    Yes! The right kinds of exercise go a long way towards both relieving pain and stiffness and maintaining flexibility in your spine and other affected joints. For many AS patients with mild to moderate symptoms, exercise and using NSAIDs as needed are effective treatments.

    What if I can’t exercise as much during a flare?

    That’s perfectly okay. You should adjust your routine, focusing on your stretching exercises to maintain your range of motion and do light aerobic activity, such as a short walk. Hold off on strength and balance exercises, as well as more intense aerobics or sports, if they worsen your symptoms.

    Stephanie Wood

    Stephanie Wood

    Stephanie Wood is a award-winning freelance writer and former magazine editor specializing in health, nutrition, wellness, and parenting.