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Here are the top five rehab measures for Bechterew's disease

Here are the top five rehab measures for Bechterew's disease


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Movement can often do more than just a tablet. This is especially true for patients with the rheumatism disease Bechterew's disease, which manifests itself in everyday life through excruciating back pain. The disease causes chronic inflammation in the vertebral joints, which gradually leads to bony stiffening. Since the development mechanisms are largely in the dark, there are no chances of curing the disease today, which typically punishes those affected with a hump in the later course. Especially with ankylosing spondylitis, sport helps to contain the pain and long-term consequences of the disease. PD Dr. Bertram Hölzl, Bechterew expert and scientific director of the Gastein Heilstollen, has put together the five best rehab tips for those affected.

Nordic walking - good for sensitive joints
One of the most important therapy recommendations from experts is: exercise, exercise and exercise again. Basically, with ankylosing spondylitis, sports are suitable that do not stress the joints too much. It has been proven that Nordic Walking is particularly suitable for patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Thanks to the sticks, it is particularly easy on the joints. "Bechterew patients should pay attention to length-adjustable sticks," recommends Dr. Hölzl. "They can be adjusted higher and more upright over time." If necessary, stabilizing rails or buffering insoles are also useful. It is best to learn the right technique in a course so that no incorrect loads creep in.

Exercise with the exercise ball keeps the body supple
The body can be kept supple with gymnastics. This counteracts stiffening, especially at the beginning of the disease. In addition, sufferers suffer less from pain. Good gymnastic exercises that maintain mobility and strengthen the back and abdominal muscles can be carried out with rubber bands and the exercise ball. Strengthening the chest muscles, for example, makes breathing easier. To do this, sit on the ball, place your feet in parallel on a long rubber band and hold them cross-over in your hands. Then pull regularly while maintaining posture. "It is important that the exercise is only carried out up to the pain limit, not beyond it," warns Dr. Hölzl.

Breathing properly needs to be learned
In Bechterew's disease, stiffening can also affect the joints between the spine and ribs. This limits the mobility of the chest. This can lead to muscle wasting in the respiratory muscles and poor physical condition. Those affected can counteract this if they learn to breathe their diaphragms. The easiest way to learn abdominal breathing is to lie down. The active part of breathing is exhalation. Inhale briefly and quickly and exhale slowly and relaxed immediately. Then take a break. About seven to eight breaths per minute should be taken. A breathing training session lasts three minutes.

Roller storage improves erection
The positioning therapy on wooden rollers, which expands the spine and chest, shows very good results with regard to the upright posture. If there is a roll under the thoracic spine and one between the sacrum and coccyx, ankylosing spondylitis patients feel a pleasant feeling of stretching. "This position does not hurt, rather it must not hurt at all, otherwise something is not right," warned Hölzl. Before and after effects are documented up to an improvement of 5 cm. If you have carried out the storage therapy under supervision six to eight times, you can usually do it yourself at home.

Take a cure
During a spa stay, these and other exercises can be learned at home. "With ankylosing spondylitis, cures are particularly effective if they consist of exercise therapy, muscle relaxation and physiotherapy programs," explains Dr. What is special about a cure are the natural remedies. For example, the radon in the Gasteiner Heilstollen, which is the largest therapy center for Bechterew's disease. For therapeutic use, spa guests drive several times into the healing tunnels and spend about an hour at the therapy stations. In addition to radon, heat and high humidity act. They loosen up and increase the blood flow to muscles. But above all, experts in radon heat therapy are said to have pain-relieving effects. Radon has positive effects on pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as on the inflammatory processes in the joint itself. This pain relief lasts about 9 months on average. If pain is reduced, it makes it easier for those affected to integrate movement back into everyday life.

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