Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) (aka Bechterew or Marie-Strumpell disease) is a chronic inflammatory arthritic condition affecting the  spine and pelvis. As usually affects the sacroiliac, apophyseal and costovertebral joints and the intervertebral disc articulations.

If you have AS, you will likely experience characteristic inflammatory back pain. The affected joints become progressively stiff and sensitive due to bony formations at the affected joint level. This leads to reduced range of motion, this can occur to the point significantly reduced range where the alternative name “bamboo spine” comes from. Pain and inflammation can progress from the joint to the entheses, where ligaments and tendons integrate into the bone. Overtime, this can lead to the fusing of vertebra.

AS can also be responsible for your peripheral joint pains, particularly the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders and neck.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Gene

AS affects 0.1-0.2% of the population, and you are more likely to get it if you are a male (3:1 ratio). Symptoms generally occur in late adolescence to early adulthood. The exact cause of AS is not fully understood, however there is a strong genetic link, specifically the HLA-B27 gene. There is also evidence to suggest environmental triggers.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms

  • Low back pain in the sacroiliac and glute region (base of the spine and sacrum)
  • Back pain progresses to include more of, or the entire, spine
  • Morning stiffness last more than 30 minutes
  • Broken sleep or waking up in the second half of the night
  • Pain and stiffness increases with inactivity and improve with exercise
  • Loss of flexibility or range or motion
  • Hunched posture
  • Difficulty breathing and getting full chest expansion
  • Pain in other joints of the body
  • Psoriasis (skin), uveitis (eyes), or other inflammatory signs and symptoms

Ankylosing Spondylitis Perth Physio

Physiotherapy is very important to make sure you maintain as much joint range and function as possible. It can also help dramatically with posture, breathing and overall ability to maintain an active and independent lifestyle:

  • Posture assessment and retraining
  • Strengthening of muscles to support the joints and spine
  • Movement patterns optimisation
  • Improving and maintaining range of motion
  • Breathing pattern re-education
  • Sleep hygiene and postures
  • Managing overall inflammation through exercise and training load, recovery and nutritional recommendations
  • Working in conjunction with pharmaceutical interventions as prescribed by your doctor or specialist

Did you know at Trained Physio we have a fully equipped rehabilitation facility?  Check out the details here.  Physiotherapy has several goals including promote healing, reduce pain, avoiding aggravation, optimising physical function and global strengthening to restore normal movement patterns.  To see how I can help you  BOOK ONLINE TODAY

Written by: Olivia Strelein

  • BSc. Physiotherapy (Honours)
  • BSc. Exercise and Sport Science
  • Personal Trainer