Exercises to avoid if you suffer from ankylosing spondylitis
Exercises are generally good for health. But certain ailments demand that we refrain from particular exercises, as they only aggravate the situation further. While exercising can be a relief for ankylosing spondylitis patients, there are some exercises which should be absent from our daily routine because they can be causes of injury and can hamper further recovery. It is, therefore, necessary to exercise safely. By avoiding the following 9 exercises one can train the body without running the risk of ankylosing spondylitis: bent over dumbell row, squats, seated overhead dumbbell press, deadlift, crunch cum sit-ups, reverse crunches, good morning, step up and lying torso twist.
Squats is an unsupported power movement which can be dangerous for the spine since the weight is divided on the posterior chain. Thus, it is very often associated to back injuries. Squats can be a cause of lumbar spine injuries which can aggravate the state of a person who is suffering from ankylosing spondylitis. However, a patient can perform supported squats as well as seated leg press which will develop the same muscles. Supported squats should be assisted by a trainer. It is advisable to receive the consent of a doctor before engaging in these exercises.
Bent over dumbbell row
The exercise targets the development of the latissimus dorsi mainly. Other back muscles are also involved in the movement. The exercise is performed by bending down and lifting dumbbells till chest height. However, the exercise can prove to be injurious if the spine is not maintained in an arch position or if the movement gives a jerk to the spine. This exercise can be practiced under the close supervision of a trainer who can assist the exercise if the patient is confident that arched back can be maintained throughout the exercise. The patient is also advised not to go for heavyweight dumbbells.
Seated overhead dumbbell press
Seated overhead dumbbell press exercise is performed by sitting on a bench and pushing the dumbbell from shoulder height till the elbows are locked. In this exercise, the weight-bearing joints are engaged. Therefore, the weight is divided on the spine. Ankylosing spondylitis patients cannot afford to bear the weight on their spine as it might turn out to be injurious. The exercise can be safer if practiced with a belt. However, this exercise, in general, is not medically advised for ankylosing spondylitis patients.
Lying torso twist
This exercise is performed by lying down on the floor, lifting the legs and rotating the legs towards one direction. Lying torso twist is not recommended. Researches conducted by medical professionals show that the movements involved in the torso twist do not go in accordance with the natural biomechanics of the lumbar spine. Thus, this exercise can prove to be more dangerous than beneficial to an ankylosing spondylitis patient. A patient can practice kickboxing or boxing after receiving medical consent since the activity works out the muscles around the torso every time a person punches, kicks or rotates. These activities should be carried out with extreme precautions.
A deadlift is an exercise which involves lifting a weight from the floor by bending over. It also involves lowering the weight back to the floor. In this exercise the lower back, that is, the erector spinae work isometrically to prevent the back from rounding. However, this exercise runs the risk of a spinal disc herniation if there is spinal flexion. Moreover, it is difficult for ankylosing spondylitis patients to do the movements because of the weakness in their back muscles. Thus, it is not recommended to perform this exercise. Instead, prone alternate hand and leg raises can be performed for the benefit of the same muscles.
Good morning exercise
This exercise involves weightlifting. While exercising, it is required to keep a barbell on the trapezius and bend down. It is also required to move back in the neutral position and perform the action of bending down again. The erector spinae muscles found in the lower back work isometrically to keep the spine extended. This exercise can help the lower back if properly performed under the guidance of a trainer. However, it also runs the risk of injuries if the back is rounded by mistake.
Crunch cum sit up
Crunch cum sit up exercise aims at strengthening the abs muscles and the hip flexors. The exercise is performed by lying down on the floor and then with hands locked behind the head or on the chest. The knees are kept bent. The upper body is then lifted from the ground and the action is repeated. It is not medically advised for patients of ankylosing spondylitis to perform this exercise due to high compressive lumbar load. The exercise can be replaced by partial crunch cum sit up exercises which are beneficial to the same muscles with lesser spine involvement.
Reverse crunches workout the lower part of the abdominal. It is done by lying on the floor and lifting the lower body. The pelvis is rolled in this exercise and it involves trunk flexion. The lower body represents 60 percent of the total body weight which makes the exercise challenging. However, it is not recommended for ankylosing spondylitis patients. 30 degrees alternative leg raises/prone superman is safer.
Step up exercises
Step up is a recommended exercise to improve functionality. It is not advisable for ankylosing spondylitis patients to perform this exercise with weight as it is a compound movement. This movement involves several muscles and hip joint. The lower back acts as a stabilizer. If the stabilizer is weak, injury can be caused in the lower back. However, this exercise can be performed in aerobic activities since it involves just the basic movement on low steps. However, it is necessary to receive the consent of a doctor before engaging in the exercise.
Before you go…
If you constantly suffer from spine ache, here are some exercises which will keep your spine in good shape and health. With regular exercising, your spine will remain in good form, and you will eventually stay away from back pain issues.
These Exercises Can Keep Your Spine in Good Health
Spine strength can be improved with a number of exercises. A strong spine not only corrects your posture but it also adds to your overall strength. This is why a good spine is important. You can either go with the simple spine stretching exercises or try traditional sit-ups for the purpose or even get the best of both worlds. So, here are 7 spine exercises to get a healthy spine.
7 Best Spine Exercises
Front Knee Bend Stretch
Stand at an arm’s length distance from a table. Now, start bending your upper body in the forward direction. At the same time, start bending your knees until your hands are able to touch the table. Adjust your head level so that it is parallel to your shoulders and your arms should be fully stretched. Hold on to the stance for 10-15 seconds. Afterward, stretch your body to each side. Repeat the exercise 5-6 times.
Side Lying Knee Bend
Lie on the floor on your left side. Put your left hand under your head for support. Bend your left knee at 450 while using your right hand to slowly stretch the right leg behind your body. Stay in the position for 25-30 seconds. Repeat the exercise with the other side. 3 sets with 4-5 stretches for each leg will suffice.
Lying Cross Knee Stretch
Start with lying on the floor on your back. Stretch out your right hand, making a right angle with your body. Now, stretch out your left leg in a straight position. Bring your right knee towards your left side while stretching it slowly. It needs to be moved as close to your left hand as possible. Stay in the position for about 15-20 seconds. Repeat with the other side. 3 sets with 8-10 repetitions for each side will suffice.
Side Lying Ankle Hold Stretch
Start with lying on the floor on your right side. Now, hold your left ankle with the left hand while gently bending the left knee. Stretch your left thigh muscles while applying a mild pull to your ankle with the left hand. The spine should be kept as straight as possible. Stay put in the position for about 25-30 seconds before repeating the exercise with the left side. 3 sets with 5-6 reps for each side will be sufficient for starters.
Lying Knee Stretch
Lie with your back on the ground. Move your left knee towards the chest while keeping the right leg on the floor with a knee bend of 450. Hold your left knee and stretch it by pulling it towards your chest. Do so for 30-45 seconds before repeating with the other side. 3 sets with 4 or 5 stretches for each knee will be enough for the start.
The Horse Stance
Practiced by martial artists, the horse stance adds remarkable strength to your spine.
Simply stand with your feet wide apart. The distance between your feet should be a little more than your shoulder. Stretch your hands in front of your body making a right angle with your body. Close each hand and form a fist. Now, gently lower your lower body down to achieve a sitting position. Stay in the position for as long as possible. Repeat it one more time.
The traditional abs exercise is good for keeping your spine healthy too. Start with your back resting on the floor and your body straight. Now, move your hands behind your head and use your ab strength to lift your torso up. While lifting up, exhale. Stay for 1-2 seconds then lie back with your hands still supporting your head. Inhale while coming to the rest position. 3 sets with 8-10 reps will be sufficient to start with this exercise.
Follow these exercises to have a strong and healthy spine. If you’re experiencing unbearable stress in your spine while doing these exercises then avoid them.