Although drug therapy is the most common course of treatment for AS, it is very important that sufferers understand and commit to a daily regimen of physical exercise; this form of disease management is recommended partially to reduce stiffness and pain, and improve posture and chest expansion capabilities, but also to help sufferers sustain a reasonable quality of life and a positive mental outlook as they deal with a challenging, but manageable disease.
Aggressive forms of exercise, such as contact sports, aren’t highly recommended, but in the absence of other forms of activity, they are better than no activity at all.
Other ways to manage the disease include:
- Sleeping on a firm mattress on one’s back – in a prone position without a pillow, when possible – in order to prevent progressive deformity
- Smoking cessation as a way of ensuring optimal chest capacity; deep breathing exercises are encouraged
- Therapy and counsel from a physician, or group of peers with similar instances of the disease, in order to encourage commitment to physical exercise regimen and other forms of treatment