The secret weapon in tackling axial spondyloarthritis: an effective workout routine. Learn how exercise and physical therapy can help manage chronic back pain.

Exercise: The Secret Weapon in Tackling Axial Spondyloarthritis

If you’re tight of step or stiff from pain, a good shake-up of your fitness plan could be just the ticket. Especially so if you find yourself grappling with axial spondyloarthritis (SpA), a chronic back disease filled with fire and fury. Your mission, should you accept it, is to navigate the gauntlet of longevity through an effective workout routine, whilst bouncing between medical practitioners for other odds and ends. Needless to say, it’s no walk in the park!

The Mystery of Early Diagnosis

Before we even dip our toes into the fitness pool, there’s an important piece of advice that’s often overlooked: When it comes to axial SpA, the sooner you can get a referral to see a rheumatologist for diagnosis, the better! However, remember it’s not all about patience – but well, it kind of is. This process can sometimes take several weeks, or even months in some parts of the world. But hey, who said healthcare was a sprint, huh?

Really, what any smart medical practitioner will tell you is to pack some shorts and sneakers in your arsenal too. Primary care practitioners can screen for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, or any other nasty gremlins lurking in the shadows, all while you, my friend, should lay the foundation for managing chronic back pain with some smart, low-impact exercises for your back.

The Exercising Prescription

So, you’ve got yourself an early diagnosis and you’re priming yourself for the long fight. Great! But you know, it’s not all about popping pills. No siree! Although some treatments for chronic back pain may include NSAIDs like naproxen or celecoxib, there’s a sidekick in this story that’s got your back (pun intended) – physical therapy.

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is all over this, advising that physical therapy should tag team with medication for optimal patient management. You see, they know that you’ll try everything under the sun to find some relief. So instead of prescribing water-based exercises or home-based exercises, they’re shaking things up with land-based group physical therapy and individualized programs.

The formula is simple: Educate patients about the benefits of regular exercise and voila! The course of your chronic back pain is altered for good. All with a little help from some qualified physiotherapists and a steadfast commitment to movement.

Primary Care Practitioner: The Nurturing Quarterback

The key to a long life, like most things, relies on good communication. It’s a conference call between you, your primary care practitioner, and your rheumatologist. As your primary care practitioner weaves in and out from blood tests, liver function tests, and reassessing your prescribed medication, the frequent check-ins ensure that you’re covered from all angles.

Through all this, spare a thought for your general health. Healthy diet and nutrition choices certainly butter the bread of a well-rounded wellness plan. Think of it as me handing you a backstage pass to life longevity. You’re welcome.

Let Me Break it Down for you Stick-Figure Style

  • The Early Bird Special: A prompt referral to a rheumatologist is key to kicking off your healthcare interception.
  • Medication Mix-up: NSAIDs are the name of the game but remember, it’s about continuous use at the full dose, not as an SOS.
  • Physical therapy: It’s your unsung hero in this chronic pain saga. Land-based group sessions and individualized programs are your best bet.
  • Healthy Living: Bundle in diet, nutrition, and regular check-ins with your primary care practitioner and you’ve got yourself a recipe for longevity.

Chronic back pain can sound like an uphill jog with two left shoes, but with the right action plan, prompt diagnosis, and an appreciative nod towards physical therapy and exercise routines, you’ll be sprinting to victory in no time, despite the unwelcome guest that is axial spondyloarthritis.

Source Citation: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/what-best-way-manage-axial-spondyloarthritis-primary-care-2024a100005l

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