Everyday Health Life

Know About Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

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Diseases & Cure

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), also called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine.

It causes inflammation of the spine’s joints, which, if left untreated, can lead to chronic pain and disability. In addition, in very severe cases, inflammation can lead to new bone formation in the spine. This can lead to immobility.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) can also cause pain and stiffness in added parts of the body. It can also affect other large joints such as the shoulders, hips, heels, and knees.

Also Read: Rheumatic Diseases: Types, Symptoms, And Causes

What are the Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) are varied. However, like other forms of arthritis, it is usually characterized by mild to moderate inflammation flare-ups that alternate with periods of almost asymptomatic progression.

Knowing the warning signs can help. Although, the most common symptom is back pain in the morning and evening. You may also experience pain in large joints such as the hips and shoulders. Other symptoms may include:

early morning stiffness

poor posture or hunched shoulders

loss of appetite

mild fever

weight loss

fatigue

anemia or low iron levels

decreased lung function

Because Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) involves inflammation, it can also affect other body parts. When you have Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), you may also experience:

intestinal inflammation

eye inflammation

inflammation of the heart valves

plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis

When to See a Doctor

You should see your doctor if you experience severe or recurring joint pain or if the pain is interfering with your daily life. If your GP suspects Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), they may refer you to a rheumatologist. Although, Rheumatologists are experts in arthritis and other muscular and skeletal diseases.

What Causes Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

The cause of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is currently unknown.

The disorder tends to run in families, so genetics likely plays a role. For example, if your parents or siblings have Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), you are more likely to get it than someone with no family history.

Risk Factors for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Family History

A family history of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a risk factor, as is the presence of the HLA-B27 protein. More than 90% of people with this disease have a gene that expresses this protein.

Age

Unlike other arthritis and rheumatic diseases, the first symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) often appear in young people. Symptoms usually occur between the ages of 20 and 40.

Sex

Some guidelines state that Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is about twice as common in men as in women. However, according to a 2018 study, the true prevalence of the disease may be more even.

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) can differ between men and women, leading to a late or missed diagnosis.

Also Read: Know About Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

What are the Problems of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

Certain complications can occur if Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is left untreated. This includes:

vertebrae can fuse due to chronic inflammation

inflammation can spread to nearby joints, including the hips and shoulders

inflammation can extend to ligaments and tendons, which can impair flexibility

labored breathing

eye irritation

damage to the heart, lungs, or intestines

compression fractures of the spine

Seeking treatment for low back pain or chronic joint stiffness is essential. In addition, roughly 10-30% of people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) may have heart complications, including valvular heart disease. This may result from the growth of fibrous tissue near the valve and inflammation of the inner lining of the arteries.

How is Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) Treated?

There is no remedy for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), but treatment can help manage pain and prevent disability. Timely treatment can also slow down or even stop possible complications such as bone deformity.

Medications

Doctors may prescribe several drugs to treat Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). The medications a person receives will depend on the course and severity of their condition.

NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen are often used to relieve pain and inflammation. They are generally safe with few complications.

Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can relieve symptoms and slow spinal damage but should not be used long term.

Organic products. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and IL-17 inhibitors are drugs that can block irritation triggers in the body. As a result, these medicines prevent inflammation and relieve joint pain and stiffness.

ARMM. Your surgeon may also prescribe disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These drugs slow down the disease process in the body to prevent symptoms from worsening.

Operation

You may need joint replacement surgery if you have severe damage or deformity to your knee or hip joints. Similarly, people with poor posture due to fused bones may need an osteotomy. During this procedure, the surgeon cuts and straightens the spine’s bones.

Treatment largely depends on the severity of the disease and the severity of the symptoms.

Are there natural treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

In addition to more traditional treatments, some natural remedies can help relieve the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). A person may often use them along with prescribed treatment plans. Converse with your doctor about which ones are safe to use together and which ones are best for you.

An Exercise

Daily exercise and posture practice will help you maintain flexibility and range of motion. Each of these exercises can help reduce the symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS):

yoga

deep breathing

elongation

swimming

postural practices

These exercises may be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes medication and physical therapy.

Elongation

Stretching can make your joints more flexible and progress their strength. This can lead to a reduction in pain and an increase in the range of motion in the joints.

Posture Training

Stiffness of the spine can contribute to poor posture. Over time, the spine’s bones may fuse in a deformed or sagging position. You can reduce this risk by adopting the correct posture.

Since this may not happen naturally after years of bad posture, you may need to regularly encourage good posture with reminders to correct it. You can also use assistive devices such as ergonomic support chairs or seat cushions.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Heating pads or hot showers can help relieve pain and stiffness in your spine and other affected joints. Ice packs can reduce inflammation in painful or swollen joints.

Acupuncture

This alternative treatment may help relieve pain and other symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). It does this by activating natural pain relief hormones.

Massotherapy

Massage may enhance your range of motion and preserve flexibility while calming and energizing. Ensure your massage therapist is aware of your Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).

They may be aware of pain points around your spine.

Many Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) treatments are also innovative practices for a healthier life.

Can Diet help Treat Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

There is no single diet for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). A nutrient-dense diet that offers plenty of vitamins and minerals from various foods is a great place to start. Be sure to include:

foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and some oils

a wide variety of fruits and vegetables

whole grains, such as quinoa or farro, as well as whole grains

foods containing active cultures, such as yogurt

Try to reduce or eliminate nourishments that are low in nutrients and high in fat, sugar, and sodium, including highly processed foods. In addition, boxed, bagged, or canned foods often contain ingredients such as preservatives and trans fats that can exacerbate inflammation.

It’s important to read food labels carefully to understand what ingredients and how much of them you’re consuming, which can also help you better understand the nutritional value of a product.

Similarly, limit the alcohol you drink or cut it out completely. Alcohol can interfere with medications and make symptoms worse.

How is Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) Diagnosed?

The 1st step will be a complete physical examination with particular emphasis on joint function and range of motion of the joints and the spine. Your doctor will ask you for details about your pain and your history of symptoms.

Your doctor will then take an X-ray to check for joint damage to your spine and any other painful joints. Erosion or damage to the joint may go unnoticed if the disease is in its early stages. Therefore, they may also recommend an MRI.

They may also do blood tests to evaluate signs of inflammation, such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein. An HLA-B27 test will be requested to assess the presence of this protein. Having this protein does not mean that you have Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), only that you have the gene that makes this protein, and you may be at risk of developing spondylitis.

Diagnosis of this type of arthritis can take some time.

How to Prevent Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)?

It’s unclear how to prevent Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) because no one knows what causes it. However, if you have a medical condition, you can focus on stopping disability by:

Stay Active

eat a nutrient-rich diet

maintain a moderate weight

These healthy lifestyle approaches, along with traditional treatments, can help delay or slow the progression of the disease.

Conclusion

[Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)] is a progressive disease. This means that the disorder will worsen over time and may lead to disability. Unfortunately, it is also a chronic disease, so that no treatment can cure it.

Medications, stretching exercises, formal physical therapy, and alternative therapies can help:

relieve symptoms

improve posture

help prevent and delay inflammation and damage

Talk to your doctor if you have long-lasting back pain. They can help find a cause, such as Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), and develop a treatment plan to relieve symptoms and discomfort.

The sooner you begin action, the more likely you may be able to prevent some long-term effects of the condition.

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