Ankylosing Spondylitis – Causes & Symptoms

Category: Back Pain, Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 30, 2014

ankylosing spondylitisAnkylosing spondylitis is a spinal disease that causes vertebrae to fuse together, causing decreased range of motion and increased levels of pain. This blog will explain the causes and symptoms of the disease and walk through some treatment options.

Causes & Symptoms

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease most common in younger males. The exact cause is largely unknown, but it is widely believed to be associated with genetics. A few common symptoms that may be indicative of the condition are as follows:

  • Hunched back
  • Decreased mobility or flexibility of the spine
  • Pain in the neck or back
  • Difficulty breathing or pain in the lungs & ribcage

This disease can impact any area of the spine but is most common in the lumbar region. The inflammation associated with the disease can also impact other joints in the body as well as the eyes. Contact your doctor if you have any of the signs and symptoms associated with ankylosing spondylitis. The earlier you identify the condition, the earlier you can get on a path to treatment and the less time you will spend in pain.

Treatment Options

Unfortunately there is no known cure for ankylosing spondylitis, but there are ways to lessen the pain and symptoms associated with the disease. The condition is diagnosed by a routine physical exam and confirmed with imaging tests such as x-rays or MRIs.

Ankylosing spondylitis is generally treated best with non-surgical methods like physical therapy and pain medication. Surgery may be recommended if there is extensive joint or impending nerve damage as a result of the disease. If you, or your child is exhibiting symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis, make an appointment with your physician today to diagnose the condition and discuss methods for treatment. If you act early you will avoid a lot of unnecessary pain.

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