Ankylosing spondylitis is an arthritis where the spinal joints and ligaments are chronically inflamed causing the individual to feel pain and stiffness in their back. Sometimes, if the arthritis is bad enough the bones can actually fuse together leaving the patient with a rigid, inflexible spine and an Abnormal posture. It can occur in other areas of the body: including the hips and knees. It can also affect various organs of the body, however these types of occurrences are far less common.
Early symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are often similar to other conditions so this can be a bit confusing. With ankylosing spndylitis, usually the lower spine or sacroiliac joints become inflamed causing the individual to feel stiff and extremely sore in the lower back and hip area. After long periods of rest this pain will often get worse. Eventually the pain and stiffness may move up the body to the neck and the rib cage. It is at this point that the bones can fuse together which can result in a loss of normal movement and possible breathing problems.
Once confirmed that ankylosing spondylitis is present, our Physios will begin treatment to lessen the stiffness and pain for the individual. Often, spinal mobilization techniques will be employed. In addition, soft tissue management and exercise programs can be developed to help build up strength in the core muscle groups.
Treatment also focuses on trying to avoid deformity occurring while working on maintaining proper function and the right posture. Physiotherapy and exercise routines are a significant part of any treatment plan for ankylosing spondylitis, alongside any prescribed medications from your GP/consultant.
Our Physios can help diagnose the presence of Ankylosing Spondylitis. We look for symptoms of pain and stiffness and can perform a physical examination on the patient checking for tenderness in certain areas and a potential decrease in their range of motion. All of our Chartered Physiotherapists are fully qualified and up to date with the latest techniques so you relax knowing that you are in good hands.