Exercise and advanced axSpA

Exercise & axSpA 3

Exercise resources for people with 'advanced' axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA)

'Advanced axSpA' refers to having one or more of the following:

  • a more long-standing condition
  • spinal ankylosis or fusion
  • more joint involvement or other complications. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis Australia 

The AS group of Queensland have produced two free exercise resources, available as a DVD or mp4 link:

'Water Exercises: A Hydrotherapy Program for people with AS'

A comprehensive resource showing warm water exercises in sections such as warm up, shoulder/ arm exercises etc, specifically designed for people who have AS.

‘An Exercise Program for people with AS’

This is a guide to dry land exercises. It includes 'contract/relax' stretches and it recommended that these are taught in person by a physiotherapist.

Both programs advise that they are a guide only, and and consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional is recommended, prior to commencement.

National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS) UK

There are two main sections for exercise resources on the NASS website: ‘Stretches for your daily life’, and ‘My AS, My Life’. Both resources are free.

Stretches for your daily life

A series of short videos featuring stretches to incorporate into your normal daily activities – for example, Morning Stretches, Stretches in the Kitchen, Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch

My AS, My Life

Regular live exercise sessions, plus an extensive range of videos available via session library or YouTube channel.

The sessions listed below are suggested as most suited to people who have advanced AS:

Specific exercise (mobility focus)

Functional exercise (including strength and balance) 

Cardio exercise

Spondylitis Association of America

Free videos on Cardio, Strength, Morning and Evening Stretch, Yoga exercises

Back in Action Again, SAA's Newest Exercise Video (spondylitis.org)

BJC Health (Aus)

Exercise and Ankylosing Spondylitis – summary of different exercise types by Exercise Physiologist Sarah Comensoli

Exercise and Ankylosing Spondilytis - YouTube

Yoga for AS (UK)

Live online classes and library of online courses; Yoga courses modified for AS by qualified instructors (who have AS themselves) 

FREE Initial class (see also NASS yoga classes by the same instructors) - then monthly or annual subscription


Safe Exercises at Home (Aus)

The Safe Exercise at Home website and booklet provides information on ways to stay active at three levels of function and fitness. It is designed for older people, but is suitable for anyone with AS who is experiencing balance problems or who is starting from a lower level of physical activity (such as following illness or surgery). This is a free resource.

HOME | Safe Exercise at Home