Physiotherapy for ankylosing spondylitis: evidence and application

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2011 Mar;23(2):142-7. doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e328342273a.


Purpose of review: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a disease that tends to affect younger individuals, many of whom are in the prime of their lives; therefore, incorporating the most up-to-date evidence into physiotherapy practice is critical. The purpose of this review is to update the most recent evidence related to physiotherapy intervention for AS and highlight the application of the findings to current physiotherapy research and clinical practice.

Recent findings: The results of this review add to the evidence supporting physiotherapy as an intervention for AS. The emphasis continues to be on exercise as the most studied physiotherapy modality, with very few studies examining other physiotherapy modalities. Results of the studies reviewed support the use of exercise, spa therapy, manual therapy and electrotherapeutic modalities. In addition, the results of this review help to understand who might benefit from certain interventions, as well as barriers to management.

Summary: A review of recently published articles has resulted in a number of studies that support the body of literature describing physiotherapy as an effective form of intervention for AS. In order to continue to build on the existing research, further examination into physiotherapy modalities, beyond exercise-based intervention, needs to be explored.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Self Care
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / therapy*