The aim of treatment is to reduce joint pain and to prevent, delay or correct any damage or deformities of the spine and other joints.
Hot baths, heat and massage can help to relieve pain. If you can, sleep on your back on a firm mattress and use a small pillow or none at all.
Because ankylosing spondylitis can affect the bones of the rib cage, your lung capacity can become restricted. Breathing exercises can help maintain your lung capacity. If you smoke, quitting should be a priority. Even with the best treatment, some people will develop a fused spine, but most people can still function. At some point, a back brace or other devices, such a corset, cane or joint splints, may help. If other organs are involved, such as your heart or eye, you may have to see a specialist, and may need additional treatment and monitoring. For example, a person with ankylosing spondylitis may need a pacemaker if his or her heart is affected.
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