Physiotherapy and exercise form are vital. They are particularly effective in preventing long term stiffness.
Many patients use NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) which are painkillers similar to ibuprofen or aspirin. Other important treatments include immune suppressants such as methotrexate or sulfasalazine. Newer drugs include Etanercept and Infliximab which act against a protein called TNF (Tumour Necrosis Factor) and bisphosphonates (which are used to prevent bone turnover and in the treatment of osteoporosis).
Stiffness due to Ankylosing Spondylitis is often improved after exercise.