Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory state that, over time, can begin some of the miniature bones in your spine (vertebrae) to fuse. This fusing makes the spine less resilient and can appear in a hunched-forward posture. If ribs are stirred, it can be hard to breathe deeply.
Ankylosing spondylitis influences men more often than women. Signs and symptoms typically start in early adulthood. Inflammation also can take place in other parts of your body — generally, your eyes.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms
Initial signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis might involve pain and stiffness in your lower back and hips, notably in the morning and after periods of inactivity. Neck pain and weakness also are common. Over time, symptoms might worsen, change or stop at irregular intervals.
The area’s most commonly affected are:
- The joint within the base of your spine and your pelvis
- The vertebrae in your lower back
- The places where your muscles and ligaments attach to bones, principally in your spine, but sometimes along the back of your heel
- The cartilage within your breastbone and ribs
- Your hip and shoulder joints
Ankylosing spondylitis has no known precise cause, though genetic factors appear to be involved. Indistinct, people who have a gene called HLA-B27 are at a greatly raised risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis. Anyhow, only some people with the gene develop the condition.
- Men are more likely to reveal ankylosing spondylitis than are women.
- Onset generally begins in late adolescence or early adulthood.
- The greatest people who have ankylosing spondylitis have the HLA-B27 gene. But several people who have this gene never disclose it.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis
AS can be hard to detect because many people experience back pain, as a basic symptom. A diagnosis may be even more difficult for women because the condition is much more common in men.
There’s also no particular test to confirm AS. Your doctor may rely on your signs, a physical exam, and blood tests.
You also recommend having an X-ray or an MRI. But this doesn’t always benefit because joint damage may not show up right away on imaging tests.
Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Currently, there is no known antidote for AS, but there are treatments and medications available to overcome symptoms and manage pain. Recent studies determined that the newer biological medications can potentially slow disease progression in some people. Note that several people respond to various medications with varying levels of effectiveness. Therefore, it may take time to find the most effective course of treatment.
Exercise for Ankylosing Spondylitis
The less you lie or sit down, the greater you’ll feel. Exercise encourages you to stand straighter and keeps your spine limber. Staying active may even expel your pain without medication.
You’ll have to practice good posture, learn how to stretch tight muscles and keep your spine firm, and use other methods that can reduce your pain. You can do them at the house, but most people avail themselves more from working with a trained physical therapist or with a group.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Medication
Prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like indomethacin (Indocin) relieve most people who have AS. But they can begin to stomach bleeding, heart obstacles, and other side effects.
If your condition is critical, your doctor may have you try stronger medications like biologics. These are made with things such as proteins. But they may cause severe side effects, including infections.