As I hope everyone knows by now, May is Walk Your AS Off month. But why walk? Surely it’s better to rest if you’re suffering from back pain?
I’d say that yes, resting is important. Pain is your body’s way of saying that something’s wrong, and it’s a good idea to listen to your body. But if you rest with AS then you’re likely to experience more fusion. Remember when your mum used to tell you that your face would stick that was if the wind changed? Well that’s the case with AS. If you rest too much then the fusion will freeze your spine.
It happens a lot to people with AS, mostly because they don’t know that they have it until the fusion has started. When it happens it’s called Bamboo Spine. Thankfully, it doesn’t make you tasty to Pandas, so you’re allowed to go to the zoo for a walk if you want to. But it does start the process of the kyphosis that I mentioned in an earlier post.
As I might have mentioned once or twice, physiotherapy is a great way to get moving in the right way. But you can’t be expected to lie down and do clamshell leg exercises or stand against a wall in the middle of the moor. But walking can be done almost anywhere. It’s low impact, free, and you can go at your own pace. If you’re having a bad day, just keep it to short bursts and take a break.
My job is great for walking. I work in an office, but my role is anything but sedentary. I’m walking to and from meetings, standing up presenting and resting when I need to. I can feel a huge difference in my back as the day progresses. And I think that it’s visible to those around me too.
So why not join in for Walk Your AS Off, maybe join a team? Or if that’s not your bag and you have some spare cash then you could just donate. (The team that I belong to, the Orange Apples, raise money for NASS, the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Association. You can visit the justgiving page or give £1 by texting NASS53 £1 to 70070.)
And if you’re in or around Newcastle tomorrow (1st May) don’t forget that everyone’s invited to the NASS 40th Birthday Charity football match & social evening at Heaton Stannington Football Club!