Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis in which there is long term inflammation of the joints of the spine

Causes

Although the cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, there is a strong genetic or family link. Most, but not all, people with spondylitis carry a gene called HLA-B27. Although people carrying this gene are more likely to develop spondylitis, it is also found in up to 10% of people who have no signs of the condition.

Risk Factors?

    • Your sex. Men are more likely to develop ankylosing spondylitis than are women.
    • Your age. Onset generally occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood
    • Your heredity. Most people who have ankylosing spondylitis have the HLA-B27 gene. But many people who have this gene never develop ankylosing spondylitis.

Symptoms

Three main symptoms characterize ankylosing spondylitis:

  • pain
  • stiffness
  • loss of mobility
Early signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis might include pain and stiffness in your lower back and hips, especially in the morning and after periods of inactivity. Neck pain and fatigue also are common. Over time, symptoms might worsen, improve or stop at irregular intervals.
The areas most commonly affected are:
  • The joint between the base of your spine and your pelvis (sacroiliac)
  • The vertebrae in your lower back
  • The places where your tendons and ligaments attach to bones (entheses), mainly in your spine, but sometimes along the back of your heel
  • The cartilage between your breastbone and ribs
  • Your hip and shoulder joints.

Self Care

Besides seeing your doctor regularly and taking your medications as prescribed, here are some things you can do to help your condition.

    • Stay active. Exercise
    • Apply heat and cold
    • Don’t smoke
    • Practice good posture
    • Avoid bleaching.

Treatment is essentially to minimize or prevent deformity. These deformities are excessive dorsal kyphosis with compensatory cervical lordosis and hip flexion contracture. Non-Surgical treatment involves:

  • Proper sleeping posture on a solid, flat bed without pillow. Frequent sleeping or lying in prone position.
  • Posture exercises with upper back hyperextension (performed with avoidance of lumbar hyperextension).
  • Breathing exercises to increase or maintain rib cage excursion, as well as instruction in abdominothorasic breathing.
  • Range of motion exercises for hips and knees to prevent flexion limitation and contractures.
  • Periodic rest periods with avoidance of fatigue.
  • Bracing or corseting (combined with exercises).

Home Remedies

Chew 2-3 raw garlic buds on an empty stomach in the morning with water Make a powdered preparation of dried ginger root, celery seeds and cumin seeds in equal quantities. Add rock salt to taste, and have 1 teaspoon with water at bed time.

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