Your journey with ankylosing spondylitis was likely not one planned for or even one you wanted to start. But alas, the journey started likely with some discomfort or stiffness in the low back or buttocks that wasn't startling, but gradual and dull. It may have progressed through your spine and alternated sides with pain and made you tired more than usual. Eventually the pain stayed with you for at least three months, alerting you that something is not right. This journey of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) leaves you in everyday life with a few challenges, but you tend to embrace the challenges and seek solutions to them to continue your productive life with as little disruption as possible. We at Watertown Wellness Center are here to help you along your journey, to help you control any pain you have with AS.
a chronic, systemic, autoimmune disease affecting the ligaments along the spinal vertebra and discs and between the spine and pelvis (the sacroilliac joints).
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of spondyloarthritis with a strong genetic, hereditary predisposition.
an xray of ankylosing spondylitis
Ankylosing spondylitis is considered a chronic conditions as it is a disease that lasts longer than 3 months and usually takes its course in a matter of years.
Treatments may decrease your pain and lessen your symptoms while it plays out. Interestingly, your symptoms may get worse with time, improve or completely stop. Over time, though, the pain and stiffness that begin gradually may progress to affect other parts of your spine and body.
Ankylosing spondylitis is considered inflammatory and autoimmune as the immune system responds to the irritation so your condition may be co-managed with a rheumatologist.
It is systemic as it affects the various parts of the entire body.
Ankylosing spondylitis may cause eventual fusion of the spine, resulting in a partial or complete rigidity of the spine.
More men than women are affected, and it is more painful in men than women.
Video of Ankylosing Spondylitis Condition Description
A typical patient is a young person, aged 20 to 40, who reports chronic pain and stiffness in the lower part of the spine or sometimes the entire spine. The pain often will be reported into the buttock or back of thigh due to the sacroiliac joints being inflamed.
A simple blood test to check for the HLA-B27 gene confirms the diagnosis once clinical signs like pain and stiffness of joints present themselves. Not everyone with this gene necessarily gets this disease, but a majority of those with this gene do experience this disease.
A thorough clinical examination sometimes with xrays is vital for your best outcome of care.
video of a Thoracic Spine Exam Description
Cox Technic's role in the course of this disease is to keep the spine and its joints as mobile as possible while Ankylosing Spondylitis runs its course. Co-management with a rheumatologist or other specialist is common. Full spine treatment or just treatment of your thoracic spine and lumbar spine may be appropriate.
Clinical Case Report
Contact Watertown Wellness Center for gentle care of your ankylosing spondylitis.