What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a long-term chronic condition that affects the spine and other areas of the body. It causes inflammation and often develops in teenagers and young adults with it being more common in men than women.
The condition can cause back pain and stiffness that gets better with exercise while the hips, knees and ribs experience pain and swelling and often, patients will experience fatigue. These symptoms often develop slowly over months and years while they can come and go. In many people, the condition eases with time but it can get worse.
Diagnosing Ankylosing Spondylitis
The symptoms of the condition can be similar to that of other conditions. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and what you are experiencing while they will also try to determine when they started.
In order to check for signs of inflammation in the body, your doctor might arrange blood tests. In some cases, further testing is required which means that X-rays, MRI scans or an ultrasound scan may be required. Genetic testing might be required, whereby it is determined if a patient carries the HLA – B27 gene.
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Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis
There is no cure for the condition and so, it has to be managed by using exercise, physiotherapy and medication. Remaining active can help to ease stiffness and improve posture. A physiotherapist will help to provide patients with effective exercises, massage and hydrotherapy, all of which can help to ease the symptoms.
Medication is also used to help reduce the inflammation and so, Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs will be prescribed while there are other forms of medication that can be used including corticosteroids, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and painkillers.
In some cases, surgery might be necessary where joints are replaced in order to improve the pain and range of movement.
Managing Ankylosing Spondylitis
Patients will find that keeping active can help to ease symptoms and prevent stiffness. The use of hot and cold packs can help to relieve the pain associated with inflammation.
To Book An Appointment
For more information or to book an appointment please call Daniela Ryan on 07943 404 279/ 07806 683 980 or use the link below.