Conference Coverage

Physical therapy, exercise still relevant for ankylosing spondylitis



In the era of biologics, physical therapy still has a place in the treatment of patients with ankylosing spondylitis, according to Angelo Papachristos, an advanced physiotherapist at St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto.

Speaking in an education session at the annual meeting of the Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network (SPARTAN), Mr. Papachristos said that therapy should be introduced at diagnosis, individualized, and constantly reevaluated.

“There is no one recommendation,” he said. “Therapy should be monitored and adjusted over time depending on how the patient responds.”

Mr. Papachristos drew attention to two portions of recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

First, that scientific evidence demonstrates that the beneficial effects of exercise are indisputable and that the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Second, that a program of regular exercise that includes cardiorespiratory, resistance, flexibility, and neuromotor aspects to improve and maintain fitness and health is essential for most adults.

How much exercise to prescribe and when to introduce exercise remains a question.


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