What Should You Know About Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Whether you have been freshly diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis or been living with it for years, there is a lot of information to retain. This type of arthritis not only affects the spine, but presents in the joints, eyes and heart.  Therefore, the more informed you are, the easier life will be when it comes to ankylosing spondylitis. Below is the information the Arthritis Consultants of Eastern Tennessee would like you to have:

Exercise is Key

When you are used to living every day with the aching pain in your body, most believe rest is the best option.  Wrong.  Physical activity can actually help manage your symptoms.  Afterall, exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy body and lifestyle.  It is recommended to leave out all exercises which involve twisting your neck or body in anyway which is uncomfortable.


Ankylosing spondylitis used to the be a difficult diagnosis to handle. There is a lot of information to take in and remember. However, due to advancements in medicine, treatment options have become a lot easier than in years past. When you are working with Dr. Michael Watterson and the Arthritis Consultants of Eastern Tennessee, we work closely with you to find the right treatment plan.  He listens to your symptoms and works closely with you to slow the progression of ankylosing spondylitis.

Stay Safe

This type of autoimmune arthritis causes inflammation that makes the bone break down, and then is followed by a new bone growth in the spine. In more severe cases, the spine fuses to the pelvis, making the new location of fusion extremely fragile. Patients need to take extra precaution when participating in events where injury could easily occur.

Live Heart Healthy

Due to the fact that ankylosing spondylitis could affect your heart, you need to maintain good health. A couple of heart complications include arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, atherosclerosis and valve disease. You have to protect your whole body from the inside out.

Love Yourself

Following the treatment plan set in place by your rheumatologist can allow you to live a fully functioning life while dealing with ankylosing spondylitis.  It is difficult for patients to understand there is no cure for arthritis and it is a chronic condition, if you stop your treatment the pain will come back.  The patient should also monitor their weight, drug/alcohol intake, diet.  Try to live your healthiest life.

Quit Smoking

it pretty much goes without saying, smoking is one of the worst things a person can do to their body.  However, when a patient is dealing with ankylosing spondylitis, it is especially dangerous.  This type of arthritis causes the rib cage to grow rigid, making it difficult to breath.  No doctor is certain of the correlation between smoking and other types of arthritis, but Dr. Watterson makes this his first conversation with his patients when they are diagnosed with any type of arthritis.

Contact Us!

To make sure you are staying on the right track, you are going to want to have an excellent relationship with Dr. Watterson at Arthritis Consultants of Eastern TN. You want to make sure you can be completely honest with your rheumatologist. For patients who are suffering from chronic pain, being able to speak with your doctor is going to be key to the patient’s outlook on life. Use your appointment time to your advantage.  Go in prepared with questions about your illness you would like answered.

Arthritis Consultants of East Tennessee specializes in rheumatologic care, which is the practice of assessing joints, muscles, and bones for pain, swelling, stiffness, and deformity. Contact us or call 865-503-2001 today to find out how we can help you get your life back on track.

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