Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Rheumatic Disease
Ankylosing spondylitis is the medical term for the chronic disease that causes the joints to inflame, particularly the tendons and ligaments between the spinal bones and pelvis. This condition is one of the most common forms of a spondyloarthropathy (group of rheumatic diseases that primarily affect the spine).
The Greek word, ankylos, means stiffening of a joint, while the term spondylos translates as vertebra. This pathology has the potential to cause the affected joints of the spine to fuse together and may even lead to extensive kyphosis (hunchback) or rounding of the upper spine. This occurs when the kyphosis curve becomes greater than the normal 20 to 40 degrees. Ankylosing spondylitis can become a rather painful condition, especially when the symptoms go untreated.
What causes Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Researchers do not know the cause of ankylosing spondylitis, but genes seem to be the predominant factor. This joint-attacking disease is more common in males, which is surprising because rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis characteristically affect more females than males. It is uncommon to see this disease develop in young children, but instead it’s common in late adolescence and so forth.
Could I have Ankylosing Spondylitis?
There are a number of symptoms with ankylosing spondylitis. Patients often report recurring low back pain or pain that begins in the sacroiliac joints (pelvic area), which worsens at night or in the morning hours. This pain also intensifies during periods of inactivity and may be bad enough to wake a person from deep sleep (which then causes fatigue), but the good news is it gets better with activity or exercise.
Spine Pain Relief for Ankylosing Spondylitis
According to the National Institutes of Arthritis and Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases nearly 46 million Americans are suffering from some form of the 100 different types of rheumatic diseases, along with the various types of arthritis. Medications are often prescribed by medical physicians and in some cases surgery is required. Depending upon the severity of your case, physical therapy may be a great solution for pain relief. There’s no point in being in pain if you don’t have to be. Please contact us today for a free consultation.