Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of breathing and posture exercises on pain, functional status as well as respiratory function and health related quality of life in patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).
Materials and Methods: Forty patients with AS were included in the study. Pain levels were recorded by Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Disease activity levels were determined by Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), functional status was determined by Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) and spinal measurements were determined by the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index (BASMI) criteria. Ankylosing Spondylitis Quality of Life (ASQol) was used as the disease-related quality of life scale. Pulmonary functions were tested with the Zan spirometry device. The first group was given a home exercise program including breathing and posture exercises and the second group was given a program with only posture exercises. However, the control group was not given a home exercise program. Patients in all groups were evaluated again after three months.
Results: The VAS, BASDAI, BASFI, BASMI, chest expansion, pulmonary function test results and ASQol values showed a significant improvement in the group with breathing and posture exercises. There was no significant change in the control group. Chest expansion, forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1)/FVC ratio in the first group had improved more significantly than group 2 and the control group. Also, BASFI, BASMI, BASDAI, ASQol, VAS scores in group 1 had improved more significantly when compared to group 2 and the control group.
Conclusion: Breathing exercises show a positive effect on the pain level, clinical status and respiratory function and provides improved functional status and quality of life in patients with AS.
Ankylosing Spondylitis, Exercise, Respiratory Function