4/6. 1st Year -The Beginning Of Exercise Routine - Painful, Progressive & Positive

July 17, 2016
Daily exercise routine consists of dozens of exercises, thousands of repetitions, for hours each day. 
Training at home, in bed, in the bath, on the Bus -- anywhere and everywhere possible. Keep moving. Keep moving. Keep moving is the only way. 

Caution. In the beginning, some exercise were so intense, that some days, it was impossible to leave the house. Pain really equalled progress, and crippling it was.

Before starting the training around late 2015, a decision was made to 'decrease' the medication each day while 'increasing' the workout. This was because of the research that showed 'placebo pills' worked just as much as real ones. Other trials showed that a specific diet, nutritional produce and exercise can be just as effective as pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs. More importantly,  I was reading that bones and muscles can be 'rebuilt', 'repaired' and 'rejuvenated' with the right nutrition and exercises. I had to try.

I wanted to be in control of my pain, not the pain controlling me + I did not want to keep living my life around medication and pain.

Introduced the reduction of  medication intake. I'd break a small piece off from the pills every time they were taken. Capsules I'd open and remove a little of the powder until the medication had diminished. Keeping a positive mental attitude, because of my previous experiences living with the consequences of having a 'negative attitude'. (that's another story)

The rheumatologists and other doctors all told me it was "important to keep taking the medication". How wrong they were.

Initial Goal. The first part of the training session was to fully stretch every part of the body until I could get back the full movement of each joint, muscle and ligaments. Once achieved, the next step was to introduce weight bearing exercises which was important to get back the strength. I was mentally and physically ready to start the fight.

Training Recommendation Goals. 1. To keep away from anything or anyone that causes me stress because it will cause unnecessary pain, and set me back physically and mentally. This is what my body and mind observed. I later learned that stress can be damaging, deteriorating bones, weakening muscles along with other health problems. 2. Planning the training sessions around my disabilities and decide where and when the best places are to do them. 3. Remember why I'm doing this. To get through every pain barrier. To change my life, to become  healthier, fitter, stronger and more confident again. To live, and not just exist rotting away with the progression of the disease.

The training was unpleasant and excruciating, but I did what was possible. I was positive it had to get easier as time went by, and it did.

Patient says to his Doctor......"doctor, doctor, every time I raise my arm it hurts". Doctor replies, "Well don't raise your arm then" -  How wrong that is. When dealing with this disease, you need to raise your arms again,  again and again.

Day 1. Working the entire body, stretching and trying to get back all the lost movements due to the stiffness. I worked out wherever I could. I knew this was just the beginning of a long, painful road. I was worried I'd do more damage than good but I had to go for it.

Day 2. I woke up with severe pain in my upper arms, back, chest and shoulder and I felt good -- the reason why I'm in pain? -- because I had been working out the day before. This was the mentality I now employed.

The 'Dartboard Workout Sessions', D.W.S. An imaginary huge dartboard was on the floor, and I was standing on the Bulls-eye. Then with my left leg on the bull, I'd step forward with the right leg to the number 12 (as far forward as possible) then behind me to 3, then repeat as many times, sometimes for an hour each day using my weight bearing 'Jumper Workout Sessions'. J.W.S Then alternate the steps to each number and work around the board, then switch legs. When sitting down, leg raises by lifting each leg up and down for as many times the body felt was enough. In bed I'd pull or and lift the legs up and then down. Then stretch the legs apart as if giving birth. As time went by the hips got more movement and less pain. Anywhere I was, I had to keep moving. Moisturising the entire body is helpful in keeping check on the progress of the body's flexibility and finding the weak / stiff / painful spots that need extra training.

http://theonlywayproductions.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/how-i-cured-my-ankylosing-spondylitis.htmlEveryday for 20 minutes I'd lay down flat on my back to force the legs, back and neck to get straight again. In this position I'd place weights on my legs just above the knees to fully straighten. So many parts of the body needed training I decided to do neck twist exercises on the bus. Looking left, then right. Trying to get back the full rotation without looking obvious. When standing I'd stand as tall as possible pulling my whole body upwards. The 'Standing Tall Training' is detailed in 4A - Detailed Training Program: Exercises. Routines & Best Places To Do Them

Keep on your feet. Stand and keeping the upper and lower body occupied with some form of physical activity is key.

Week 2 /3. I was now off the medication and feeling good to know that the medication were no longer poisoning the body, and was feeling much better than when on meds. There was still obvious pain and stiffness, but at least I was in control of it. I now knew what workouts I could do without the pills hiding the truth. The future was looking bright and very positive..

Inspirational Quote - "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion". Muhammad Ali.

http://theonlywayproductions.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/how-i-cured-my-ankylosing-spondylitis.htmlAfter 3 months I was fully able to move and stretch my arms to where they should be. Stretch and yawn properly for the 1st time (it was orgasmic). I had more movement in my neck, left shoulder, hips and legs but I was still in pain and my left hip, right shoulder injury and upper legs (muscles) were still causing me to limp and very painful. At this point I was no longer on pills but feeling better than on them, but I could not introduce the next step. "Weight bearing exercises", nor could I function at all so I decided to take a steroid (cortisone) injection. Only because the left hip pain was excruciatingly crippling. I've had pain in my hips for years but this additional symptom made my life, and my training impossible.

People who knew me thought I was crazy for suffering in pain without medication. I had to agree with them... at the time, but in the long, has been worth it.

After the injection, my left hip felt great. I could now function and dress and exercise easier and life was bearable, but the injection soon wore off and the symptom came back. I decided to have one more injection and immediately start the weight bearing training to build and strengthen the hip. After many hip training sessions, the pain was different - was it the pain = progress, or was it the steroids running out, only time would tell.

"A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world"  Paul Dudley White (an American physician and cardiologist

Next appointment with the Rheumatologist, I decided to decline another steroid injection, even though I was still in considerable pain, but not severe. I carried on the training and have eliminated all the pain in both hips due to the proper training and nutrition. Also, my right shoulder problems have finally gone.

The Limbo. To help with squatting, stepping and bending, I placed sticky tape across the hallway, and a chair to step over. 

As and when it gets easier, the tape gets lower, and the stools replaced with a higher.chair or empty cardboard box.

After 6 months. I was now working the upper and lower body daily. One day the upper body would be weight bearing, and the lower body just stretching and exercising. Then alternate. I started using 1kg dumbbell weights to do all the upper body and upper arm training. Once I was ready, I changed to 2kg and continued doing the D.W.S along with my J.W.S while slowly increasing the weight.

Waiting in a queue, or anywhere, I'd swivel the hips, do neck twists. Stand tall. Stretch /pull the neck up. Everything helped.

After 7 Months. Both ankles, knees and hips had been repaired and rebuilt. All the pain had gone. I could hang from my pull-up bar and do a few pull-ups. I'd now progressed to 'dancing training' It was better with 'more variations in movement'. Anyone can dance. It's just moving, wiggling, and bending  all body parts in every direction, then harder and faster until it became easier and less painful. Sneezing and coughing was normal again. The upper leg muscles were still problematic. The lower back was still painful, but less and less stiff. The neck had much more movement.

After 8 Months.  Although the neck was still stiff, it was straight and aligned correctly. My upper spine had straitened. I was no longer hunched over. It was not easy, but by forcing pressure, pain and manipulation of the neck and upper spine which made the sound of clicks, creaks, cracks and crunches and was, and still is a very painful exercise. I can now walk properly without the many pain symptoms I had previously.

I swapped my shopping trolley for a rucksack, which being weight bearing was strengthening the body even more. My weakness and disability was trying to squat to pick things up off the floor due to my upper leg muscles still affected which I'm working on each day. Lower back stiffness is improving and my neck has not yet got it's full rotation, but is improving with the daily intense self-therapy and painful manipulation. I can run and jump up and down. I could go on.

My former Rheumatologist who saw me regularly had a wry grim on his face when I refused his offer of 'Anti-TNF Embrel injections' telling him "I want to try and help myself naturally with my diet and exercise". 

I told my doctor that I was "feeling much better without the pills", did he say anything to congratulate me or say well done? No. As far as he was concerned he's lost a customer, someone who would regularly pick up a prescription and let the doctors, pharmaceutical companies and government profit from my health deterioration. If they had their way, I'd still be taking pain killers, anti- inflammatory's including Omeprazol which is used to protect the lining of the stomach from all the drugs they give. They even tried pushing and persuading me to take Prozac. I told them I'm in pain not depressed.  I'm so glad I took the natural path without relying on medical advice and pharmaceutical drugs which kill so many people daily.

Is It All A Coincidence? My whole body deteriorates every day for the last 20 + years. I then start training each problem vigorously, eating healthier, and introduced healthy nutrition's into my diet, and I've been getting better and better every day. Is that a coincidence? It's now a joy to get out of bed each morning, and notice all the changes in me.

My Goal - In 6 more months To break through the pain barrier of my upper leg muscles. To have less pain in my.back. To be more agile and stronger, and to have more rotation of my neck, to become healthier, happier, confident, strong, working and outgoing again.


1. Introduction. Reversing My Ankylosing Spondylitis, Arthritis & Other Joint Injury's.

2. Journey / History & All Symptoms. How long I have been suffering for. How it changed my life for the worse, and why I made the decision to fight back.

3. Medical Reports, and results of my X-rays, Ultra sound and MRI scans. 

4 The First Year - Beginning Of Exercise Routine - Painful, Progressive & Positive.

4A Detailed Training Program. Dozens of exercise routines, thousands of repetitions for hours each day, and the best places to do them for maximum results.

5. Nutrition Information. Diet and important supplementary products I now take daily. 

6. Testimonials from medical professionals who knew how much pain and stiffness I was in.

7. One & Two Years On. How I am winning my fight against Ankylosing Spondylitis.


Note. I am not a doctor or professional trainer.

About Towp. The Only Way Productions - tinyurl.com/towpblog

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