Learning to swim with Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia

I have started taking baby steps hoping to manage pain caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis & Fibromyalgia. I am taking one-on-one swim lessons. The pool is 4 feet deep throughout which takes the fear out of equation. The key is to relax throughout the session. You will feel right when you are in the water that muscles are tightening around neck, back etc if you are not swimming right. This will end up in pain through the spine while you sleep. Watching the breathing is also a key factor. It would be good to do stretches before swimming. Sitting in a sauna after will help loosen the muscles. To get to a point where I can even start swim lessons, I had to bring down my inflammation with prescription strength anti-inflammatory medications. Both Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibromyalgia kept me in pain for years. I wanted to try moving. That way even if I am in pain due to swim activity, it will have good results in the long run.

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis is an inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine and large joints. Severe pain through the spine starting from neck, mid back, lower back, fatigue, running low grade fevers all felt different. Consistent elevated ESR showed there is some inflammation in the body.  When rheumatologist tested me it was extremely tender & painful even to touch in my lower back. I did see symptoms for quite some time where it even hurts to sit in the toilet seat. Even carrying laptop bag from parking lot to the office desk was causing so much pain in the mid back. The pain is so severe that it won’t let me sleep in any position for long in the night. SI(sacroiliac) joints X-ray showed relatively symmetric sclerosis(hardening of tissue) of the sacroiliac joints. Have not yet figured out how I am going to manage this new condition. Atleast feels better to give the pain a name than just being put in Fibromyalgia bucket.