ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS & TREATMENT
Definition: What is "Ankylosing spondylitis"?
Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic degenerative inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine & sacroiliac joints, causing a painful & eventual fusion of the spine. When complete fusion occurs & results in complete spine rigidity, it becomes a condition known as "bamboo spine".
Symptoms & Signs
Ankylosing spondylitis usually occurs in young people, aged 15 to 30, with stiffness & chronic pain in the lower spine. Men are more affected by Ankylosing spondylitis than women are. Over 40% of Ankylosing spondylitis cases are associated with anterior uveitis that causes eye pains & increased light sensitivity. Other symptoms associated with Ankylosing spondylitis include fatigue & mouth ulcers. Pain can shift from one side of the spine to the other. Early symptoms may occur at extremely young age, around 3 years old, when the child experiences painful, recurring joints. This condition is usually mistaken for rheumatism. Ankylosing spondylitis can also be symptoms of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, Reiter's disease & psoriasis.
Treatment: How to Treat "Ankylosing spondylitis"?
Ankylosing spondylitis has no known cure. However, treatments are available to reduce its symptoms. Physical therapy is commonly used in conjunction with exercise & medication. Physical therapy & exercise reduces inflammation & pain commonly experienced with Ankylosing spondylitis since active inflammatory phase will make the pain worse. Three types of medications are recommended in treating Ankylosing spondylitis - analgesics, DMARDs & TNF blockers. Surgery can also be an option for joint replacements in severe cases.