Ankylosing Spondylitis is an inflammatory rheumatic disease affecting spine mostly, but it can also have an effect on other joints and organs. When the inflammatory condition is intense, changes happen on the affected joints which can result with a boning process. This makes the joints stiff and almost immovable. This condition is about 5 to 7 times more common with men than women, in between 18 and 30 years of age. The cause for the condition is not yet known. Antigen HLA B27 was discovered and has an important role in etihopathogenesis of the disease. Because of this, persons carrying this antigen will almost certainly develop this condition. Some researches show that there is a connection between appearance of the ankylosing spondylitis and infective diseases (enterobacteria). In any case, several mechanisms are required for this condition to be developed.
Disease usually starts with a progressive pain in the lower part of the spine, usually after lying down, especially in the morning. This pain can be reduced by stretching and it is symmetric on both knees. This painful sensation is followed by a feeling of stiffness. As the disease develops, the symptomatology also progresses, with the pain spreading into the lower part of the spine. The patient experiences pain in the back and under the rib cage, especially during exhaling or strong inhale. With the strong pains of the affected spine limited movement is applied in all directions. Inflammation can be developed in the joints of arms and legs. It manifests with pain, swelling and limited movement. If the hip joint is affected, a significant functional incapacity can happen, especially with patients who don’t treat this.
There aren’t any typical safety diagnostic tests for the ankylosing spondylitis. The whole goal of treatment is to stop the advancement of the disease and inflammation, to suppress pain and to maintain the functionality and psychosocial support. This is done by educating the patient and his family, by applying general measures, functional treatment methods and medicament therapies as well as physical and rehabilitation medicine. Surgical treatment can also be used for this disease, but it’s important to localize the joint in question.
Common prescriptions are done for non-steroid anti-inflammatory rheumatics who reduce the pain and stiffness. These are used for locally inflamed joints, rarely systematic. Today, some other medicines are used such as some modifying medications as well as biological treatment which have proven their efficiency even in early stages of the disease. The application and analysis of the process is determined by rheumatologist. The significance of physical therapy is great because it can reduce the pain and stiffness, improving the overall health status of the patient. Especially significant is a continuous targeted medicinal gymnastic in a gym or pool. Surgical treatment is indicated when there is a more severe functional damage done to the joints (hip or knee) or when there is a severe deformation and damage done to the spine. All of these treatments need to be approached with care so a qualified rheumatologist is an important factor in this whole issue.