Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a type of arthritis that generally targets the back and spine, leading to chronic pain. Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a type of autoimmune disease, causes painful inflammation and rigidity that tends to worsen over time. Although there is no found cure, Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics offers ways to manage the condition. Usually affecting men more frequently than women, it affects over 2 million people- more than both cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis combined.

In order to effectively treat Ankylosing Spondylitis, the condition must be properly understood. It has been termed arthritis of the spine. As it is an autoimmune disorder, the body’s immune system attacks itself causing significant swelling between vertebrae in the spine. This swelling can inflict pressure on surrounding nerves, causing pain and rigidity in movement. Often times, AS originates between the sacrum and iliac joints at the spine’s base, which can severely inhibit ease of movement. Since it is commonly found among family members, researchers have found a gene that commonly occurs concurrently with the disease.

If someone in your family has been previously diagnosed with AS, it is recommended to carefully monitor any back pain and stiffness that may “flare” up in adolescence or early adult years. Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics offers medications (pain aids, immunosuppresants, and TNF-alpha blockers) and physical therapy to manage the painful symptoms that occur with AS. With proper treatment and effective pain-management techniques, people living with AS can lead relatively normal lives.

Progressive Spine & Orthopaedics hopes that all our patients stay mindful of their bodies while undergoing treatment. We ask that you please notify your doctor as soon as possible if there are any sudden changes in your comfort levels, if pain and stiffness worsen, if maintaining balance becomes problematic, or if there are any complications with the prescribed medications.