Ankylosing spondylitis treatment
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What is ankylosing spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of axial spondyloarthritis that causes damage to the spine visible on an X-ray. The causes of the condition are unknown, but scientists believe there are genetic factors that predispose some people to the disease. Ankylosing spondylitis affects more men than women and commonly appears between the ages of 17 and 45.
If left untreated, ankylosing spondylitis can cause the vertebrae in the spine to fuse together over time, resulting in less flexibility and a hunched forward posture. As the disease progresses, the sacroiliac joints are almost always affected. These are the joints between the spine and the pelvis. The disease is chronic, although with varying severity, and features periods of flares and remission.
Symptoms and causes
The pain associated with ankylosing spondylitis most commonly occurs in the sacroiliac joints, where the spine connects to the pelvis, so patients feel pain in the lower back, hips, and buttocks area. Patients can also feel stiffness, especially in the morning. Pain typically comes on gradually over a period of time. Patients may also experience a low-grade fever and loss of appetite as well as fatigue and anemia.
Other areas of the body may also be affected, including pain in other joints, bowel inflammation and eye inflammation. In fact, around one-third of patients with ankylosing spondylitis experience eye inflammation. Symptoms are red, watery or painful eyes, blurred vision and sensitivity to light.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic condition, and its severity varies greatly by a patient. Those with a family history of the condition or with frequent gastrointestinal issues are considered more at risk for developing the disease. Treatments for ankylosing spondylitis include medication, physical therapy, exercise, the use of hot and cold compresses, and surgery for the most severe cases.
Recommended medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, corticosteroids, biologics and other stronger drugs. Eating a healthy diet, especially getting enough calcium and vitamin D, is recommended to help manage symptoms. Regular exercise, with a focus on stretching, may also relieve the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. The most common surgical procedure is a hip replacement.
Treating Ankylosing spondylitis
FAQs about AS
Can ankylosing spondylitis cause vitamin D deficiency?
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory disorder that refers to arthritis of the axial skeleton and sacroiliac joints. Vitamin D has shown to play an active role in balancing calcium and phosphate in the body and regulating bone formation and absorption. Because inflammation can affect the loss of bone density evident in AS, patients with the condition have shown decreased levels of vitamin D compared to people without AS. But it’s not medically proven that the disease directly causes a drop in vitamin D levels and further studies need to investigate the link between vitamin D deficiency and AS.
Does ankylosing spondylitis cause headaches?
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) symptoms have varying degrees of pain in different locations, depending on the person. Inflammation can cause mild to debilitating pain that is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as fatigue or eye problems. The pain usually occurs in the back or neck, and when it does manifest in the cervical spine, it can cause headaches. When AS affects the neck, it can result in internal and external eye pain and headaches with sensitivity to light. It is a complex condition that can affect several areas of the body and make day-to-day tasks challenging.
Does ankylosing spondylitis show up on mri?
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory disease that can result in the fusion of the small bones in the spine. The consequence is limited flexibility, inflammation and pain, and can sometimes make breathing difficult. Diagnosing AS consists of your doctor doing a series of physical tests to analyze the range of motion in the spine. Imaging tests will also be carried out such as x-rays or an MRI. While x-rays cannot detect the presence of AS in the early stages, an MRI provides highly detailed images of your bones and soft tissues and provides evidence of AS at the early stages.
Can ankylosing spondylitis cause memory problems?
Ankylosing spondylitis is an incurable inflammatory disease that generally affects the spine and lower back. It is a progressive and complicated condition that presents possible complications, especially when left untreated or undiagnosed. Mental and cognitive disorders can result in living with a chronic disease, which can also exacerbate the condition. Cognitive impairment is common with sufferers of AS who experience temporary memory loss and difficulty in remembering certain words. Ankylosing spondylitis can also cause chronic fatigue that can also contribute to memory issues. Cognitive dysfunction is commonly associated with this disease and should be monitored to avoid more serious complications.
Can you get pip for ankylosing spondylitis?
It is possible to claim PIP (Personal Independence Payment) for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) as it is a lifelong chronic condition without any cure. Any long-term disability or health condition that requires support with daily living or mobility, makes you eligible in obtaining the benefit. Even if you are still able to work you can claim PIP after completing the necessary paperwork and assessment. AS is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can impact your life and cause additional complications, so you may need help in covering additional costs to better manage daily tasks and get specialized transport.