Ankylosing Spondylitis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Ankylosing Spondylitis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
gonna show you some stretches and exercises for ankylosing spondylitis. Let’s get started. Say what?! That is a long word, isn’t it? Basically it’s an inflammation in the spine.
It gets the joint capsule and the ligaments, and over time if it continues to swell up,
the spine ends up fusing together and you lose a lot of range of motion. So the goal
is to keep that range of motion in there. So I’m gonna show you some simple exercises
here lying down on the ground first. So prop up your knees, get nice and comfortable. And
you’re just gonna start off with a simple pelvic tilt. And what the pelvic tilt is,
is you’re tilting your pelvis down into the ground, or into the mat, and taking your stomach
and back and flattening it out. I often tell people it’s like you’re fake laughing. Go
“ha, ha, ha!” And everything goes down into the ground. So just push down. Hold that for
about 3 – 5 seconds and come back up. Sometimes people have a little difficulty doing this,
so if you don’t feel like you’re doing it quite right, slide you hands underneath your
back and then just push your back down into it. But make sure you’re tightening up those
abdominal muscles as well. So pushing down, fake laugh, ha ha ha, and relax. So just do
about 10 of those, just to kind of get everything loosened up in there. The next one is gonna
be a trunk rotation. So still keeping your knees propped up, put your feet together,
put your legs together, and just gently rotate them to one side. You don’t have to go all
the way to the ground cause you want to keep the rest of your back pretty flat. And then
come back and rotate to the other side. Now the lower back’s gonna come up just a little
bit, but you don’t want your shoulders to come up, too. So, again, just kind of go down.
You can hold it for about 3 – 5 seconds on each side, or you can just do a continuous
motion rotating back and forth. Starting off with about 10, and then you can work your
way up to 20 – 25. The next one is gonna be a bridge. So this time, like the pelvic tilt
where you’re pushing down, you’re actually gonna bring your bottom up into the air until
you kind of straighten everything out right here. So spread your feet out about shoulder
width apart and then come up, alignment here, and slowly come back down. Like one segment
at a time in your back. So you’re really getting some movement there. So one segment there,
one segment there, one segment there. So not just plopping back down. Coming up nice and
controlled and coming down nice and controlled. Then you’re gonna stretch into a single knee
to chest. Bring your knee up towards you. Some people will tell you to grab up here.
I like to grab underneath because if you have knee issues, or some arthritis in your knees,
if you grab here, you’re not putting a lot of pressure on that joint. And then just pull
up this way towards your chest. Hold that for about 30 seconds, and then do the other
side. So just alternate back and forth. Really pulling up, holding that for 30 seconds. Just
to a spot that’s comfortable. Don’t go to where there’s any pain, just to where you
feel a nice good stretch in your lower back and then come back down. Doing 3 on each side.
Then you’re gonna roll over onto your stomach into the prone position. And then just prop
up on your elbows. And try and keep your hips flat down on the ground. Some people kind
of try and come up this way a little bit, but keep it flat because you want to stretch
the back area there. This might be enough for some people, getting that stretch. Hold
it there for about 30 seconds. Come back down. If you don’t feel like you’re getting quite
enough just propping up on your elbows, then you can actually push up just a little bit
on your hands. But again, keep your hips flat on the ground. Don’t bring them up like that
cause that takes away from the stretch just a little bit. Just coming up this way, about
30 seconds, and then come back down. Do about 3 of those and then if you’re propping this
way and it’s comfortable, you can work your way up to about a minute there. The last set
of stretches are gonna be in the quadruped position up on all fours. So this one is gonna
be the cat-cow, some people call it cat-dog, some people call it camel, but just arching
your back up, holding it for about 5 – 10 seconds, tucking your chin when you’re arching
up and then come down and bring your chin up forward looking straight ahead. Holding
it again. So your just kind of alternating back and forth, just getting that movement
in the spine, getting that circulation to get that inflammation out of there. So there
you have it. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you’d like
to check out some other videos, go to And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope
you feel better soon.

75 comments on “Ankylosing Spondylitis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. Jhan Jar Post author

    "ten of those" means ten stretches in 24 hours or is it like 10 in the morning and 10 in the evening?

  2. Majo Post author

    Thank you so much I have a lot back problems the video is very well explained. Thanks a lot.

  3. Alexandria Rojas Post author

    Should you do this every day and if so how many times during the day? Thank you for this video. I have been having inflammation around my lower spine and it really hurts and burns and these felt really good.

  4. Mohammad vhora Post author

    Thanks Dr jo really its very helpful exercises for people who r sufrring with Ankylosing spondylitis

  5. Alex B Post author

    Thanks Dr J, needed some good stretches and exercises to add to my advised set from the physio! Much appreciated.

  6. kurdstan future Post author

    thank you so much
    I have ache in my hip joint
    there training is useful for hip joint
    or only for back useful

  7. psychdrdeni Post author

    What kind of pillow is that? I have AS and it is affecting my rib cage. Will these exercises help?

  8. Shauna B Post author

    Thanks so much. I was recently diagnosed but have suffered for many years without any intervention. i don't want this to progress as rapidly as it seems to have been doing and these exercises will help with that. I'm only 41 years old and I love living my life, being on the move and making each moment count.

  9. new goat farm Post author

    hii dr, jo. i m from india .and i have this prblm .. but my maximum pain is in my foot chalae whT i did?

  10. Variance Techno Post author

    More stretches if you can, use this as my morning routine, thanks, I'm losing movement in my neck. tho i just started medication two weeks ago, and changed my diet DRASTICALLY, so if you have any special neck stretches for AS or general, could you please link me as you have a lot of videos !! 🙂 Thanks

  11. Rupam Nandy Post author

    hlo doctor, I had a query that is it advisable to do workout at gym for a patient with ankylosing spondylitis?

  12. karim magnouni Post author

    for a young man just diagnosed with as do u recommend me doing those exercises every day ? (I'm already I work out in the gym..)

  13. प्रभाकर आचार्य Post author

    Hello Dr. Jo

    I have been affected from ankylosis spondylitis since I was a kid.(from age 15). Now I am 31.
    I think It has been serious now. Some doctors are saying if I have hard working and hard pressure over those areas I might have a serious effect on those areas.
    Please advise me.

  14. marcobagut Post author

    My MRI diagnosis was spondyloarthrosis, but all I can find is ankylosing spondyloarthratis and spondylosis… what is the difference? I am kind of hoping I just have some wear and tear that can be fixed, rather than a cronic degenrative disease… I am quite terrified!

  15. Rokuchi Post author

    Oddly enough my lower back is so flat that I can't seem to do pelvic tilts … or maybe it's just me failing to understand how to do the exercise. Either way thanks for making this video I could do most of them at least.

  16. Phillip Briz Post author

    I have this spine problem too and I STOP doing my routine and my posture worsen. When I lay my back I have my head 30 degree above my pillow. Can you suggest a routine for me beside going to my Doctor first. Thank You!

  17. Silky Johnson Post author

    YIKES what causes this. I drive truck and have been experiencing back pain. I understand sitting causes certain shortening of muscles leading to a condition

  18. Karunanidhi K Post author

    Hi, I am Nidhi from India. I am 26 now. 16 years back doctors confirmed HLA B27 Positive. now I am unable to move my neck properly and my spine bending forward. rotation in knees is just 45degrees. and same with hip joints. please suggest something to improve this. thank you in advance

  19. Bhashkar Belwal Post author

    i am 24 from india and i am facing ankylosing spondylitis since last 6 months my HLA-b27 is positive and my left hip and right si joint is paining too much i can not bare the pain , i can not feel happiness in my life i am frustated with this pain.please help me with some related exercises please .my left si joint and right si joint now.i cant move in night it is so much painful..please ..thanks

  20. Vivek Kuriyal Post author

    my HLA B27 is negative
    but simptoms indicates anklosing spondilitis, I have t 11 and 12 vertibra had got compression frecture 15 year back, most of doctor restricted me for forword bendig and twisting,
    so how can I do these movements you are suggesting, plz guide

  21. GuruLivesOn Post author

    My mom has had AS since she's had it her whole adult life. I am aware that's it's hereditary do to the HLA-B27 antigen which makes me twice as likely to experience its symptoms. I'm 25 and according to my research, people are diagnosed with AS when entering adulthood (17-18). To this day, I've shown no signs of the disease. Does that mean I've been exempt or do I still have a chance to contract it later in life? Thanks for your answer. Cheers!

  22. Sushobhit Chandra Post author

    Please tell about sleeping positions and stiffness of beds to be used in ankylosing spondilitis.

  23. Tapas Kumbhakar Post author

    Hello mam
    I am from INDIA..
    I have feel a pain in pelvis area during wake up time after sleeping..
    After doing this exercise the pain became higher..
    What should I do..pls answer me….

  24. Navneet Kaur Post author

    Your exs are very helpful dr Jo…really like it,can u plz explain each and every exercise with reason why are you doing that and which structure you are going to stretch or strengthen…thanks

  25. saddam hs Post author

    Dr. Jo this is Saddam H sam and i'm oppressed by HLA B27. already i;m bent and now take advixa injection,can recovery myself?

  26. William Pope III Post author

    Thanks for the video. (Cute socks BTW) Everything I've been reading about AS says that it usually starts between the late teens and around 35 y/o, but I didn't had any noticeable signs until around 46. Though I haven't been Properly diagnosed, I've has x-rays done by a chiropractor showing a large calcium build up in my lower spine, and a tilted pelvis and slightly tilted spine. Plus Every other sign of AS, except the age thing. Pretty sure ive got it though. And these excersises will help out a lot. Thanks.👍

  27. Shrikant Gujar Post author

    Hi doctor, i am having HLA B27 positive and having pain in back and legs. So i heard that it can't ve cured, please doctor give me information about this can it be cured or not?

  28. Mohammad Shahid Post author

    Please suggest me what would be best for me especially in this situation…
    I'm an Ak patent Age 35 years old and I'm facing lower and middle back pain in every moment. Medicine relise only 50% pain just for two or three hours……

  29. AKSHAY PATOLE Post author

    hi i am from India i have Ankylosing spondylitis HLA B27 is positive i take inj inflaximab 300 mg 3 time but it not use what will i do plz reply

  30. nanu sharma Post author

    Hi m suffering from same disease , but i can't sleep on floor or hard surface ……what should i do

  31. raj ravaliya Post author

    Hi, doctor thank you for video. I am HLAB27 POSITIVE and my doctors is advising me medicines. Is it possible to get back with medicines treatment? Or only exercises?. Please help me. I am so stressed by Ankylosing spondylitis. Is this for lifetime for me? Please suggest me. Waiting for your response

  32. Mchm8 Post author

    Thank you, these stretches help rid the stiffness from my AS especially if I do first thing in the morning.

  33. Msc.Mohammed Alrubaee Post author

    Thank you Doctor. I have tried from the first time and I feel the difference. Should I do it at morning or evening and if once a day is enough

  34. Mirza Tayyab Post author

    Dear Doctor . My age is 29 and i am suffering from Ankylosing spondylities for last 8 years . right now my neck is jamed very little movement in my neck . So please tell me some exercise for relaxing my neck .

  35. Nuzhat Maisha Post author

    how many times a day do I do these exercises? Would you please mention that too? It would be very helpful tthen. Specially the first one the weirdly laughing one.

  36. Ather K Post author

    very helpful thanks Dr. Jo. If i sit for 10 to 15 minutes standing up is difficult and painful so is changing sides during sleep and getting off from the bed. Will appreciate any tips.

  37. Emon Ahmed Post author

    I affected As at i am the middle of 18 i was affected by As so intensively and i can't walk even i can't raised up with out any support…but now i have only hill and little spine pain…

  38. Brett Martin Post author

    Question for you Dr. Jo! In addition to recently being diagnosed with AS….an x-ray of my spine showed spondylolysis/spondylolisthesis at L5 with grade 1 anterolisthesis of L5 on S1. Do you think these exercises would be harmful for those structural issues? And if you have a seperate video to exercises for those issues that would be great unless you think these exercises would work for that/not be harmful. I just want to be able to do some exercises to help both my AS and these structural issues. Thanks!

  39. Md Muniruzzaman Post author

    Hi Dear Dr. Jo I am from Bangladesh. I am suffering this disease from last 5 years. I can't move my body left and right side and i can't touch floor moving front. I can't high my foot above 1 feet from floor and i can't move my both legs left and right side. I also can't move my neck up side. I recently suffer too much pain in my hole body. Please give me a suitable advice for me to overcome from this disease. I will wait for your valuable advice. Thanks.

  40. Brett Martin Post author

    Dr. Jo, one other quick question for you. Do you think these exercises are good to do for someone who currently only has AS in the SI joints and is only feeling pain in that area? Or are these mainly only better for those with AS that has spread to their back, etc.? Thanks!

  41. Bhi hard gamer Bhi hard gamer Post author

    Hiii dr.m from india..and my HLA B 27 is possitive and i have sharp pain in my left leg and hip joint so plz give me some exersise about that

  42. Tessulove 1990 Post author

    how would you get up off the floor after exercises i have a hard time getting on the floor as well do you have any advice?

  43. lipi johra Post author

    Hello Dr.Jo
    I am 16 years old.My HLA-B27 is positive and I have andos spondylitis.I feel difficulty lifting up my leg while lying down on my bed.What should I do?

  44. 00JJ Post author

    Where do I get a pillow like that? I've lost mobility and curvature in my neck, not sure if that is thick enough, but looks good.

  45. Vivek Joshi Post author

    My neck is also stiff and having severe pain in knee.( Iam also suffering from AS ) how to make them flexible . Please advice Dr. Jo

  46. Jaya Gontina Post author

    hello madam Jo my name is Jaya now I'm 20yrs old .from lost year February I have ankolysing spondylitis so much of suffered from this pain ,my doctor said don't use medicine only yoga should do , and recently am engaged ankolysing spondylitis can effect my married life?? please tell me solution madam jo

  47. Revd Sanjay Dan Post author

    Nice Dr. Jo
    Thanks for the specific exercises.
    I have one question. Will these exercises stop the progress of Ankylosing Spodlytis or do I need to take TNF Inhibitors with the exercise?

  48. Mathan india Post author

    Dr Joe thanks for the exs. I have few doubts we teach ant pelvic tilt or posterior tilt. 2. do we teach hip flexion as well or only extension. Thanks dr Joe.

  49. Alin Serban Iuliu Post author

    I really hope my blood test turn out to be negative. I have been doing these exercises for a year with huge improvements but I hope I don't have AS.


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