When we read what the medical world states about Ankylosing Spondylitis is it any wonder sufferers become distressed and are willing to embark on a lifelong regime of dependent medication?
To begin with, I would hesitate to call this a disease, as to understand the situation more meaningfully, I would discern a disease as more something you can ‘catch’ such as gastroenteritis, influenza or hepatitis etc. Although technically Ankylosing Spondylitis is a disease by stating that it is a dis-ease, I find it much more meaningful in a coping or pro-active way to call it a ‘condition’.
Having made that point, let me now make a very relevant observation; many being diagnosed as having Ankylosing Spondylitis are either carrying significant extra body weight or they present with quite poor posture.
Let’s consider this for a moment. Is the poor posture and tendency towards obesity a symptom of the condition or are they in fact contributing factors to it?
This is a glass half-full or half-empty scenario however what is paramount in the determination of which category this Ankylosing Spondylitis falls into is….if the condition causes the obesity and poor posture then you have little option but to embark on the life-long dependency on medication, however if you conclude that the obesity and poor posture are contributing to the condition then you allow yourself the option to do something about it. Sound reasonable?
To quote the Spondylitis Association of America, ‘Ankylosing Spondylitis, or AS, is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. In the most advanced cases (but not in all cases), this inflammation can lead to new bone formation on the spine, causing the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position, sometimes creating a forward-stooped posture. This forward curvature of the spine is called kyphosis.AS can also cause inflammation, pain and stiffness in other areas of the body such as the shoulders, hips, ribs, heels and small joints of the hands and feet. The hallmark feature of ankylosing spondylitis is the involvement of the sacroiliac (SI) joints during the progression of the disease, which are the joints at the base of the spine, where the spine joins the pelvis.’
When asked what I would do with a condition like Ankylosing Spondylitis I would first determine if I wanted to be a victim of the condition or a contributor to mastering it. That is precisely what it comes down to.
If I have firmly established the outcome of that question in my mind, I would then embrace all that I know or can become aware of to reduce excess body weight and in the process I would establish the three basic principles that Back For Life is built upon 1) I would restore symmetry in my body, 2) I would restore elasticity in the soft tissue that supports and creates movement of my spine and 3) I would restore specific spinal support strength.
Back For Life teaches you all three.
Foot note. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis so I do speak from personal experience.