Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints, and in ankylosing spondylitis, which is a form of arthritis, the joints in the spine are affected. The term ‘ankylosing’ means the joining or fusion and ‘spondylitis’ refers to the inflammation. Like in other forms of arthritis, it can lead to the degeneration and loss of the joint motion. In some rare cases, it also affects the hips. In males, it is far more common than females and usually occurs among the 20 to 30 years age group. Children younger than sixteen years of age are also affected. This disease has a strong genetic link, which is heightened if there are any family members suffering from ankylosing spondylitis. Initially, the pain starts as lower back pain, and then it can get severe. To help you in this, read through the article given below to learn more on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of ankylosing spondylitis.
Causes, Symptoms And Treatments Of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis
- The main cause of developing ankylosing spondylitis is genetic. The majority of the patients are born with a gene specific to trigger it.
- Certain environmental factors also contribute towards the suitable expression of the gene.
Symptoms Of Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Initially there is stiffness in the lower part or the entire of the spine like the neck, lower back, and the upper buttock area.
- There is also inflammation of the spine and other joints.
- The pain is concentrated at the back of the thigh or at one or the other buttock.
- There is also fatigue as a result of inflammation.
- As the disease progresses the pain and the stiffness increases gradually. Sometimes, the onset of the pain and the stiffness can be very rapid and intense.
- The pain and stiffness is also much worse in the morning and after periods of inactivity.
- Males in the age group of 18 to 30 are more susceptible to ankylosing spondylitis.
- In chronic inflammation there is a bony fusion of the spine. After the fusion, though, there is no pain, the mobility of the spine is lost. As a result, the spine becomes brittle.
- Chronic spondylitis can also cause the curving of the upper torso, which can make the breathing difficult.
- The lung capacity also gets limited due to the affect of the disease on the areas where the ribs join the spine. As a result, there is also scarring and inflammation of the lungs.
- There can also be development of arthritis in other joints of the body, and it is more likely to occur in women than in men. There are symptoms of arthritis like pin, swelling, stiffness, and redness in joints like hip, knees, and ankles.
- In some patients, the back of the heel becomes stiff and cause pain.
Treatment Of Ankylosing Spondylitis
- To suppress the progression of the disease the main treatment is to use medications to reduce the inflammation and suppress the immunity. Medication is the best way to decrease the inflammation of the spine and other joints.
- To improve the spine mobility, posture and lung capacity the patient has to undergo physical therapy and exercise.
- The exercises should be customized according to the individual patients. The best, of course, is swimming as it prevents the jarring impact on the spine.
- Light aerobic sports are also quite beneficial.