Ankylosing spondylitis is a disorder where inflammation causes few of the smaller bones in the spine or vertebrae to fuse. Ankylosing spondylitis affected areas tend to lose flexibility and bent forward posture. If the disease affects ribs, then it makes breathing difficult. Having the disorder does not raise the risk of contracting Covid-19, but it is safer to get the vaccine. But if you have ankylosing spondylitis after covid, the vaccine helps in reducing the exposure to deadly virus. While it is not fully curable, the Ankylosing spondylitis exercises and Ankylosing spondylitis diet can help in disease management.

Ankylosing spondylitis Causes

There is no specific cause known other than some genetic factors behind the risk of ankylosing spondylitis. People who have the gene HLA-B27 are predisposed towards developing the disorder.

Ankylosing spondylitis Symptoms

Pain and stiffness in the lower back and hips are the initial symptoms of the disorder. It can be felt after long periods of inactivity and in the mornings after waking up. The symptoms may worsen, improve, or stop after irregular intervals. They mostly affect:

  • ·         Lower back vertebrae
  • ·         Cartilage between ribs and breastbone
  • ·         Joint between the base of the spine and the pelvis
  • ·         Areas where tendons and ligaments attach to the bones in spine

Seek medical assistance from a top neurologist in Jaipur if you have pain that develops slowly and it either wakes you from sleep or is worse in the morning. Consult a migraine doctor in Jaipur immediately if you find some unusual symptoms like a painful red eye or blurred vision.

Ankylosing spondylitis Diagnosis

The disease is diagnosed with an initial physical examination. The mind doctor in Delhi

confirms the disease by asking you to bend in each direction to test the level of flexibility and mobility in the spine. The doctor may also press on certain areas of the pelvis or move the legs in a particular way to assess the pain. You may be asked to breathe deeply to assess if there is difficulty in breathing. Some other tests advised for assessing the severity of the disease are:

  • ·         Imaging Tests: MRI scanning is the most helpful in early diagnosis of the disease onset.  Though expensive, it provides more detailed scans of bones and surrounding tissues.  X-rays help to see the changes in the joints and bones however, the X -rays do not help to detect the early signs of the impending disorder.
  • ·         Lab Tests: Blood tests can help to check for inflammation. But inflammation can be caused by different health problems also. You need to contact a neurologist, Dr. Chandril Chugh who can help in a better assessment. The physician may also advise the gene test but several people who have the gene may not have the disease while a person can develop the disease without having the disease.

                                                                                                                                    Ankylosing spondylitis Treatment

The treatment aims to relieve the pain, stiffness in joints. It is also aimed at preventing complications and consequent spinal deformity. The treatment proves successful before the onset of irreversible changes to the joints. Some ways by which the treatment proves effective:

  • ·         Medications: Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are the drugs most prescribed to treat ankylosing spondylitis. The medicines help to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and stiffness of the joints. However, the medicines can also cause gastrointestinal bleeding. This is one of the reasons to see a neurologist.
  • ·         Therapy: Physiotherapy is important in treating the disease. It helps in pain relief, removing stiffness of joints, adding strength and making the joints more flexible and agile. A therapist can help design a set of exercises for your specific needs. Stretching exercises, proper walking posture, sleeping position, abdominal and back exercises can help maintain the upright posture and reduce the hunchback.
  • ·         Surgery: Though surgery is not the recommended option for most people. However, in some cases, joint or hip replacement surgery may be advised.
  • ·         Lifestyle Changes: Making some changes to the lifestyle can aid the treatment for better outcomes. You should try to remain active and follow a routine of exercise. If you smoke, you should quit. Practise good posture habits. Include the best food for nerves repair and foods that heal nerve damage in your diet to augment the healing process.

 

Ankylosing spondylitis Risks

There is no proven relation for having ankylosing spondylitis high risk covid 19. Certain aspects increase the Ankylosing spondylitis risk factor like

  • ·         Gender: Men are more likely to be affected than women
  • ·         Age: The disorder usually begins in early adulthood.
  • ·         Heredity: Though most people with the gene are likely to develop the disorder but many people may never develop it despite having the gene.

 

Ankylosing spondylitis Complications

  • ·         The disorder causes the bones of the vertebrae to fuse together leading to stiffness and inflexibility. In severe cases, it also hardens the rib cage, thus hampering the lung capacity and functioning.
  • ·         Bones can thin during the onset of the disease. This causes the already weak vertebrae to stoop further. Also, vertebrae become more prone to fractures leading to a possible injury to the spinal cord and its nerves.
  • ·         The disease can cause Uveitis or eye inflammation. It makes the eyes sensitive to light, pain in the eyes, and blurred vision.
  • ·         Ankylosing spondylitis leads to an inflamed aorta, the largest artery of the body. The inflammation disfigures the aortic valve shape and impairs the functioning of the heart.

FAQs

   How does ankylosing spondylitis usually begin?

It begins with stiffness in joints and back pain. The progress is gradual and worsens at certain times of the day like morning.

  Can ankylosing spondylitis affect anyone?

Yes, it can affect anyone. Though men are more likely to be affected. The disease usually starts in adulthood during the second and third decade of one’s life.

What is the most serious complication of the disease?

The difficulty in breathing is the gravest complication as the chest is unable to expand due to fused bones.

 Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disorder that develops in early adulthood. It affects more men than women. While there is no cure for the disability, it can be managed with treatments that aim to lessen the symptoms and slow the progression.