ankylosing spondylitis – causes, symptoms, treatment at home & more

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ankylosing spondylitis definition

Content is medically reviewed by:

Shruti Bangera, Masters In Neurological Physiotherapy, Senior Physiotherapist & SME, Portea

‘Ankylosing spondylitis is one of the rare forms of arthritis. It causes inflammation of the spine and sacroiliac joints. Ankylosing spondylitis is characterised by a chronic stiffening of several joints and ligaments resulting in severe pain and reduced mobility of the spine.’

what is ankylosing spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a rare type of arthritis and is more common in men than women. It is an inflammatory disease causing inflammation between the vertebrae causing chronic pain. Ankylosing spondylitis can also cause new bone growth between the vertebrae leading to the fusion of the vertebrae over time and making the spine fixed and immobile.  Few cases of ankylosing spondylitis have also been found to affect the eyes, heart, lungs and kidneys.

what are ankylosing spondylitis symptoms:

The primary ankylosing spondylitis symptoms are dull pain and stiffness in the morning after waking up or after a period of rest. Over time the ankylosing spondylitis symptoms can get worse. The most common symptoms of ankylosing are;

  • Neck pain and fatigue
  • Reduced spine mobility
  • Chest expansion
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fever
  • Pain in the buttocks and thigh
  • Arthritis in the hips

ankylosing spondylitis causes:

The exact ankylosing spondylitis cause is yet to be ascertained, although a genetic link has been found and most people affected with ankylosing spondylitis have been found with HLA – B27 gene but, not all. Some of the risk factors associated with ankylosing spondylitis cause are;

  • Sex – men are more susceptible to the disease than women
  • Age – Ankylosing spondylitis mostly affects people in late adolescence and early adulthood.
  • Genetics – People having HLA B27 gene are more susceptible to ankylosing spondylitis than others.

ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis

Ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis is mainly diagnosed with radiological changes in the sacroiliac joints and spine. There is no direct test available for the direct ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis. The varied diagnostic tools and ankylosing spondylitis test used in the diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis are;

  • MRI scans
  • X – rays
  • Blood tests to check CRP and ESR
  • Genetic testing for the HLA – B27 gene
  • Schober’s ankylosing spondylitis test

ankylosing spondylitis treatment

Like in several other types of arthritis there is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis, although the ankylosing spondylitis treatment offered goes a long way in managing the symptoms, reducing pain and prevention of progression of the disease. Early detection and timely ankylosing spondylitis treatment is necessary for a better quality of life. The varied treatment courses of ankylosing spondylitis are as follows;

Medications for Ankylosing spondylitis:

Non – steroid anti – inflammatory drugs, opiod painkillers, disease – modifying anti – rheumatic drugs and analgesics are the most common form of medications.

Ankylosing spondylitis Surgery:

In severe case of ankylosing spondylitis surgery is offered as ankylosing spondylitis treatment. Surgical procedures are advised to fix severe flexion deformities.

Ankylosing spondylitis physical therapy

Ankylosing spondylitis physiotherapy is an integral part of Ankylosing spondylitis treatment and is often advised in conjunction with conventional treatments. Ankylosing spondylitis physical therapy is often recommended to people suffering from ankylosing spondylitis as it helps in better management of the symptoms, reducing pain and preventing the further progression of the disease. Ankylosing spondylitis physiotherapy has also proved beneficial with strengthening the core muscles and spine, increasing the range of spine mobility through specially designed ankylosing spondylitis exercises. Regular practice of these ankylosing spondylitis exercises is crucial to attaining the benefits of ankylosing spondylitis physiotherapy.

ankylosing spondylitis home treatment:

The varied ankylosing spondylitis remedies offered in ankylosing spondylitis home treatment are;

  • Regular practice of ankylosing spondylitis exercises as demonstrated by a physiotherapist and yoga
  • Maintaining good posture while sitting, standing or sleeping
  • Warm baths with Epsom salts would relax the muscles and provide ankylosing spondylitis relief
  • Massage can prove comforting and would relief the stress

ankylosing spondylitis prognosis

Ankylosing spondylitis is pretty complex disease as not much is clear about the disease in terms of the symptoms and causes. Similarly, the prognosis of the disease is also pretty complex and quite difficult to predict, the pain and symptoms appear and disappear from time to time.

The severity of the pain also varies with person to person, while some people don’t face much issues with their mobility and can even have the disease come to a complete standstill, others are not so lucky and have the disease progress into a disability.

In some cases ankylosing spondylitis is limited only to the sacroiliac joints and as such don’t face much mobility problems, in others the disease can take a severe form and cause fusion of the spinal vertebrae leading to complete stiffness of the spine and loss of mobility.

The most important thing to remember in ankylosing spondylitis is getting timely medical attention and ankylosing spondylitis treatment to restrict the disease in its early stages. Although, there is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis people affected with it should not completely forego treatment or it may flare up into a major disability.

Cervical Spondylosis

It affects the cervical vertebrae of the neck region and is extremely common type of spondylosis

Thoracic Spondylosis

It affects the middle back and is pretty rare.

Lumbar Spondylosis

It affects the lower back and is a pretty common form of spondylosis

Multilevel Spondylosis

This type of spondylosis affects more than one particular region of the spine.

how can we help?

As with other forms of arthritis ankylosing spondylitis also results in mobility problems for the affected people and getting them ankylosing spondylitis treatment at home is a major boon to them as they are spared of all the travel hassles. Portea’s known for quality at home healthcare offers the best ankylosing spondylitis treatment at home and bringsforth a range of healthcare services, ranging from doctors and nurses to physiotherapists who properly demonstrate physiotherapy exercises for ankylosing spondylitis and monitor and assist the patients practising them. So if you need ankylosing spondylitis treatment, trust the best and connect with us for an efficient and reliable healthcare at home.

physiotherapists for ankylosing spondylitis

Dr.Ranjith Kumar.A – MPT – 15 years experiences

Dr.Anayat Ullah Sheikh – BPT – 8 years experiences

Dr.Ganta Aravind – BPT – 7 years experiences

Nidhi Bhalla- MPT- 6 Years Experiences

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