Four facts about ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) isn’t a familiar term to the average person. If you’ve been diagnosed with the condition or you’re just curious about it, you’d probably appreciate some easy-to-digest information. Here, you’ll find a few facts to get you acquainted with the condition and its effects.

Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory condition

Although most frequently associated with hip, neck and back problems, AS is different from other common conditions that affect the spine. Rather than being caused by muscle strain or the degeneration of the spinal components, it is a form of inflammatory arthritis that stiffens major joints, often spreading from the hips, up the spine, and to the ribs and shoulders. This gradual stiffening can make it difficult to move freely and even to maintain proper posture.

AS can affect the whole body

To classify ankylosing spondylitis solely as a spine problem is to ignore all of its other potential symptoms. In addition to causing stiffness in the spine, it can also cause pain in other major joints of the body, as well as blurry vision and other eye problems. In fact, AS often happens in tandem with inflammatory bowel disease. Very severe cases can even involve the heart and lungs, making it a very complicated condition to address.

The condition can be managed

Although there isn’t a cure for ankylosing spondylitis, the spread of symptoms can be monitored carefully. Using this information, physicians can develop management plans to address discomfort.

Surgery can be an option

When the spine becomes overly stooped through the progression of ankylosing spondylitis, surgery may be recommended in certain cases. Operations are planned on a case-by-case basis, taking into account a patient’s particular spinal irregularities. During the surgery, the spine is realigned into a more natural position.

Laser Spine Institute does not treat ankylosing spondylitis, but our team will gladly help patients find appropriate conservative or surgical treatment options to help relieve the symptoms associated with spondylitis.