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Overview

Ankylosing Spondylitis - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis which affects the spine. It is characterized by stiffness and pain from the lower back to the neck. The vertebrae(spinal bone) fuse together resulting in a rigid bone. Early treatment and diagnoses helps to control stiffness and pain. It can also prevent or reduce significant deformity. Ankylosing spondylitis can have signs such as pain, stiffness, bony fusion and pain in the tendons & ligaments. Yet as such the symptoms of the condition is not limited to the joints.

Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis

The cause of Ankylosing Spondylitis have not been determined yet. Despite such, some researchers say that there is a strong hereditary link. The HLA-B27 gene is said to be particularly responsible for this condition. But then again statistics found that 10 % people who have this condition also show no symptoms of the condition.

Diagnosing the condition

It is difficult to diagnose the condition with general diagnostic testing such as physical and symptomatic testing. Other diagnostic procedures such as X-rays of the pelvis and the back, measuring the chest while the patient breathes, lab tests infer comparably more confirmative results. A general physician should be initially approached if one experiences or entertains suspicions of the condition’s symptoms. He/she would direct you to a concerned specialist when required.

How is the condition treated?

Unfortunately there is yet no cure for Ankylosing Spondylitis, yet clinical research is in progress. Despite such symptomatic treatments have been observed to reduce discomfort and improve functional abilities. Such treatments aim to abate pain, rigidity, persisting stiffness, regain posture and stance and many cases prevent deformity. Many patients, after such treatments have reportedly been able to resume normal activities with relative ease. Generally a team of physicians comprising of doctors, physical and occupational therapist tend to the patients.

Physical and occupational therapy is found to be very helpful and important to maintain functional abilities of the body and minimize severe deformities. Therapists also suggest customized exercised regimes. Breathing techniques and swimming are the most advised form of exercises.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Symptoms
Pain and stiffness on your lower back Pain in your pelvis Stiffness and pain on your spine Pain on your hips Pain on your shoulder joints

Popular Health Tips

Ankylosing Spondylitis - What Are The Causes?

Dr. Bharat Singh 88% (12 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Medicine, DM - Clinical Immunology
Rheumatologist, Jaipur
Ankylosing Spondylitis - What Are The Causes?
The human spine has 33 vertebrae. However, some conditions can fuse these vertebrae. Ankylosing Spondylitis is one such condition. This disease may also be known as AS or Bechterew's disease. It is an inflammatory disease that can make the spine less flexible by fusing the vertebrae of the lower back together. In some cases, it can also affect the rib cage and make it difficult to breathe. This disease typically affects more men as compared to women. Most patients begin showing symptoms in early adulthood. Ankylosing Spondylitis affects the sacroiliac joints. These joints are located just above the tailbone. It causes inflammation of the spinal bones that in turn cause pain and stiffness. With time, this inflammation spreads to the entire spine and the vertebrae begin fusing together. This can make movement difficult and painful. In severe cases, it can also lead to the development of a hunchback. This disease also affects the other tissues of the body. For example, it can affect other joints and aggravate arthritis or affect organs such as the kidney, heart, lungs, and eyes. A specific cause has not yet been identified for Ankylosing Spondylitis. However, studies show that genetic factors can be a trigger. In particular, the presence of the HLA-B27 gene increases a person s risk of developing symptoms pertaining to this condition. However, it is important to note that merely the presence of this gene does not make Ankylosing Spondylitis inevitable. Other genes that are associated with this disease are ARTS1 and IL23R. These genes influence the functioning of the immune system. While it can affect people of all ages, adults are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition. In many cases, the initial inflammation of the spine is due to a bacterial infection of microbial infection. Though the infection itself may be treated and cured, it may cause the immune system to react and trigger inflammation. Once activated, if the immune system cannot be turned off, this inflammation will continue and can trigger Ankylosing Spondylitis. In each case, the disease presents a unique pattern of progression. There is presently no cure for this condition, but with an early diagnosis and treatment, the symptoms can be managed and progression can be slowed. This treatment usually takes the form of medication to relieve pain, inflammation and discomfort and physical therapy. Surgery cannot be used to treat Ankylosing Spondylitis but in cases where it has caused severe joint damage, surgery may be advised to replace the damaged joint.
3521 people found this helpful

Non-Surgical Treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis!

Dr. Gautam Das 92% (1142 ratings)
MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Non-Surgical Treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis!
Spondylitis includes swelling of the vertebra. It happens because of wear and tear of the ligament and bones found in your cervical spine, which is in your neck. While it is to a great extent because of age, it can be brought on by other reasons too. Side effects incorporate pain and stiffness starting from the neck to the lower back. The spine's bones (vertebrae) get fused, bringing about an unbending spine. These changes might be mellow or extreme, and may prompt a stooped-over posture. Some of the non-surgical methods to treat spondylitis are as follows- Exercise based recovery/physiotherapy: Your specialist may send you to a physiotherapist for treatment. Non-intrusive treatment helps you extend your neck and shoulder muscles. This makes them more grounded and at last, relieves pain. You may neck traction, which includes using weights to build the space between the cervical joints and decreasing pressure on the cervical disc and nerve roots. Medications: Your specialist may prescribe you certain medicines if over-the-counter medications do not work. These include: Muscle relaxants, for example, cyclobenzaprine, to treat muscle fits Opiates, for example, hydrocodone, for pain relief Epileptic medications, for example, gabapentin, to ease pain created by nerve damage Steroid infusions, for example, prednisone, to decrease tissue irritation and diminish pain Home treatment: In case your condition is less severe, you can attempt a couple of things at home to treat it: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, for example, acetaminophen or a calming medication, for example, Advil or Aleve. Use a warming cushion or an ice pack on your neck to give pain alleviation to sore muscles. Exercise routinely to help you recover quickly. Wear a delicate neck prop or neckline to get transitory help. In any case, you shouldn't wear a neck brace for temporary pain relief. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a highly effective treatment used to mitigate back and neck pain. Little needles, about the extent of a human hair, are embedded into particular points on the back. Every needle might be whirled electrically or warmed to improve the impact of the treatment. Acupuncture works by prompting the body to deliver chemicals that decrease pain. Bed Rest: Severe instances of spondylitis may require bed rest for close to 1-3 days. Long-term bed rest is avoided as it puts the patient at danger for profound vein thrombosis (DVT, blood clots in the legs). Support/brace use: Temporary bracing (1 week) may help get rid of the symptoms, however, long-term use is not encouraged. Supports worn for a long time weaken the spinal muscles and can increase pain if not continually worn. Exercise based recovery is more beneficial as it reinforces the muscles. Lifestyle: Losing weight and eating nutritious food with consistent workouts can help. Quitting smoking is essential healthy habits to help the spine function properly at any age.
5378 people found this helpful

Ankylosing Spondylitis - How To Know You Are Suffering?

Dr. Sree Hari Reddy Gadekallu 89% (44 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Fellowship in Rheumatology
General Physician, Khammam
Ankylosing Spondylitis - How To Know You Are Suffering?
Ankylosing spondylitis refers to a form of arthritis that affects the spinal column. This condition causes the bone vertebrae to fuse together leading to a rigid spine. Depending on the extent of the damage, this could result in mild changes or in a stooped posture. Although the cause of this disease is not known, it is said to be passed down from one generation to another through a gene called the HLA-B27. This gene is also linked to spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis cannot be cured, but with treatment, the pain and stiffness associated with it can be managed. Along with medication, physical and occupational therapy is a must when treating this disease. In some cases where the disease has caused severe deformities, surgery may also be recommended. However, an early diagnosis can also help prevent significant deformity. A physical exam and an X-ray are the key factors used to confirm a diagnosis of Ankylosing spondylitis. Some of the symptoms associated with this disorder are: Pain and stiffness: Everyone complains of a backache at some point or the other but a persistent lower back ache could be a sign of something serious. Spondylitis often starts in the sacroiliac joints and hence the lower back, buttocks and hips are the first to be affected. Pain that lasts for more than three months should not be ignored as it could be a sign of Ankylosing spondylitis. Bony fusion: This condition causes an abnormal growth of bones in the spinal column. This can lead to the fusing of bones in the spine. The bones of the neck, back and hips are most affected by this bone fusion. While this can affect a person s mobility it can also cause complications. For example, the fusing of the ribs to the spinal column or the breastbone can restrict the expansion of the chest while breathing. Pain in ligaments and tendons: Apart from the bones, this condition also affects a person s tendons and ligaments attached to the bones. For example, pain in and around the heel may be caused by tendonitis. Other symptoms: The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are not restricted only to the joints. Hence, it is also known as a systemic disease. Some of the other symptoms exhibited by people suffering from this condition are fever, fatigue, inflammation of the eyes and a loss of appetite. Some people may also complain of lung and heart problems.
5067 people found this helpful

Arthritis - 6 Foods You Must Avoid!

Dr. Rakesh Kumar 90% (89 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi
Arthritis - 6 Foods You Must Avoid!
Arthritis is a painful joint condition that leads to pain and stiffness as well as lack of proper mobility due to inflammation and swelling. Usually, an orthopaedic specialist will prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medication for this condition, but there are various things that you can do to ensure that this condition does not become a debilitating one in the long run. One of the best ways of doing this is by limiting your diet in certain ways when it comes to inflammation producing food. Here are a few types of food to avoid if you are suffering from arthritis. Fried food: Fried and processed food is packed with too much of salt in order to better preserve it so that it has longer shelf life. Also, the use of oil in order to deep fry can have a detrimental effect on the inflammation that is already causing problems for your joints. Therefore, it is best to avoid fried, fatty and processed or packaged food that has been frozen for too long. AGEs: When we speak of AGEs, we are not talking about the number of birthdays that you have celebrated. AGEs are actually Advanced Glycation End products that are a toxin released by food when it is heated, grilled, fried or pasteurised. These toxins can render damage to the proteins in your body. Once this process starts, the body retaliates by sending forth cytokines which are basically inflammatory messengers. This can lead to inflammation and arthritis. Sugar: Sugar and other refined carbs also have a large amount of AGEs as discussed above. These types of food should also be avoided by patients suffering from arthritis. Also, artificially sweetened drinks and too many baked goodies should be avoided by these patients. Dairy products: Owing to a certain kind of protein that most dairy products contain, these kinds of food are considered harmful for patients of arthritis. These proteins can encourage inflammation and irritation of the tissue that surrounds your joints. Switching to a vegan diet is considered helpful for arthritis patients. Alcohol: Excessive drinking is a major problem that can aggravate your arthritis situation. Smoking and drug abuse also leads to such problems. Drinking excessively can lead to the development of gout. Corn oil: This kind of oil is a part of most packaged, processed and fried food. It also leads to inflammation. Arthritis patients should switch to omega fatty three oils which can be found in fish. Taking care of your body is a matter of maintaining a good diet with lots of activity that will be congenial for your condition. This will also help in keeping the painful symptoms of arthritis away.
4481 people found this helpful

Treatment For Arthritis In Homeopathy

Dr. Prashant Ruikar 89% (207 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Navi Mumbai
Treatment For Arthritis In Homeopathy
Arthritis (inflammation in one or more than one of the joints) is a common condition that afflicts many people. Arthritis can affect anyone of any age whether it is due to lifestyle factors, diet problems, genetics, other related disorders or even medications. Causes of Arthritis Injury - can damage to bone, ligament and cartilage that ultimately leads to severe pain. Infection Any kind of infection to the joint may result in arthritis. Obesity and advanced age Both are the common causes of arthritis. Overuse Overuse of knee joint can cause bursitis which ultimately leads to intense pain. Sprain - Due to sudden unnatural movements causes pain as well as restriction of movement of the joint. Malignancy Myeloma, metastatic carcinoma. Dislocation Also causes severe arthritis. Other causes Include Sarcoidosis, Sickle cell disease, Lupus, Kawasaki disease, Crohn s disease, bone tumors, bleeding disorders etc. Homeopathic Treatment of Arthritis Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat arthritis but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for homeopathic treatment of arthritis that can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for the homeopathic treatment of arthritis: Actaea Spicata This is one of the most effective medications for arthritis that affects the smaller joints in your body; so these could be your fingers, ankles, toes and wrists. These joints may become inflamed and swollen and might become very painful. Trying to touch these joints may make the pain even worse. Actaea Spicata is very good in treating these joints and can be very effective in improving mobility related pain as well. Causticum If you are suffering from hip pain due to arthritis, causticum is one of the very best remedies to not only reduce pain, but also to lessen some of the other symptoms. Some of the indications wherein causticum is effective are: Walking or standing becomes problematic Even if you can walk or stand, your gait or posture tends to be a little bent Excessive stiffness and pain in your hip without any visible cues Caulophyllum This is also a very effective medication to treat problems within small joints with the exception that it is meant for cases where the joints also show signs of stiffness along with pain and inflammation. The stiffness may be so severe that you may become unable to move them. The pain does not stay confined to any particular spot; can rather spread to multiple joints and other parts of the body as well. Bryonia Alba Although a fairly common and well-known medication, it is very versatile in reducing pain and swelling across multiple joints within the body. The indications for prescribing this medication are when the joints are visibly red or feel hot to you and are painful to touch. Also, it is very effective in cases of bigger joints such as the knees and elbows. Combination of Ferrum Met and Sanguinara Can This set of medications is very effective in reducing the symptoms as well as pain caused by arthritis in the shoulders. Some of the most common symptoms wherein this can be prescribed are when you have shoulder pain in both the shoulders. Raising them can cause pain as well. Sanguinara is good with right sided pain while Ferrum met is effective for left side shoulder pain and stiffness resulting from arthritis.
6 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I have taken HLA B27 test. I got negative. Can I confirm Am not attacked with Ankolysing spondylitis or still any test required to confirm.

Dr. Hemant Gaur 88% (28 ratings)
MPT, Mphill
Physiotherapist, Delhi
No there is no further test Requiered, do flexibility and core Satbility Exercises for minimum 3 months.

Please suggest some best exercise and remedies for knee pain in ankylosing spondylitis.

Dr. Shobhit Tandon 91% (143 ratings)
MBBS, PG-Diploma In Clinical Pathology
Orthopedist, Sri Ganganagar
Exercises for AS may be done at home or in a gym, or in a group or individual physical therapy program. The activities below may be incorporated into your AS exercise program, but your doctor or physical therapist’s specific recommendations should be followed first and foremost. Breathing exercises These movements may not cause a sweat, but they are invaluable at maintaining flexibility in your rib joints to keep you breathing easy. Breathing exercises are a great way to begin and end your workout. One example of a breathing exercise is below: Take a deep breath, filling your chest with as much air as possible Hold the breath for three seconds Slowly exhale through your mouth If you do yoga or tai chi, those exercises also focus your attention on deep breathing. Flexibility exercises Speaking of yoga and tai chi, they are among the top exercise programs to improve spinal flexibility. These activities use isometric training—that is, you strengthen muscles while holding a position rather than moving between different positions—to increase range of motion. Flexibility exercises gently stretch and extend your spine, keeping joints flexible and warding off stiffness. Strengthening exercises Strengthening exercises cannot be overvalued to spinal health. Strong back muscles support your posture, which is important for anyone with AS. Also, keeping your spinal muscles strong allows them to support your joints. You don’t have to lift heavy weights to effectively strengthen your back muscles—light hand weights and resistance training using your own body weight (eg, yoga) are effective. Cardiovascular exercises Low-impact cardiovascular exercises, such as walking or cycling, are great for joint health. But few exercises are as widely recommended for AS as aquatic activities, such as swimming or water aerobics. Water offers an anti-gravity environment that is easy on your joints, and the pool provides gentle resistance to help you comfortably build cardiovascular health.

I am a patient of AS. Sir,do I need to continue my medication or only exercise is enough?

Dr. Julie Mercy J David Raja 92% (3698 ratings)
Erasmus Mundus Master in Adapted Physical Activity, MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
Ankylosing Spondylitis the best suggestion to do general aerobic exercises which includes breathing and all the other exercises which involves the total movements of the proximal joints ie. Neck, shoulder, elbow in the upper limb and in the lower limbs, trunk, hip, knee movements which will facilitate to improve the normal range of motion of the joints thereby improving the blood circulation. You can also try swimming activity, tread mill, cycling etc.
1 person found this helpful

Hi I'm 32 years old. I have HLA B27 positive and ankylosing spondylitis. Please be advised how and where it can be treated and cured. Thanks!

Dr. Julie Mercy J David Raja 92% (3698 ratings)
Erasmus Mundus Master in Adapted Physical Activity, MPT, BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Chennai
For Ankylosing Spondylitis the best suggestion to do general aerobic exercises which includes breathing and all the other exercises which involves the total movements of the proximal joints ie. Neck, shoulder, elbow in the upper limb and in the lower limbs, trunk, hip, knee movements which will facilitate to improve the normal range of motion of the joints thereby improving the blood circulation. You can also try swimming activity, tread mill, cycling etc.
3 people found this helpful

I am suffering from Ankylosing spondylitis (AS). I have hla b27 positive. Please suggest medicine in Ayurvedic. Lots of thanks. Please help.

Dr. Snehal Kadam 90% (79 ratings)
BAMS
Ayurveda, Surat
Hello, Take. Tab. Mahavatvidhwansan ras 2 - 0 - 2 Tab. Ashwagul OA 2 - 0 - 2 Hingwashtak churn 1/2 tsp twice a day, after food. Syp. Maharasnadi kashay 2 - 2 - 2.
1 person found this helpful

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