Known by various names in popular culture, Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment, also referred to as lumbar spine rheumatism or kyphosis, is a type of inflammatory rheumatism that affects the sacroiliac joints located between the lower part of the spine and the hip bone. It typically emerges between the ages of 20 and 50. Inflammation often occurs in regions such as the chest, hips, knees, shoulders, spine, hands, and ankles.

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis, Its Symptoms, and Treatment?

As age advances, the affected bones in the region fuse together, ultimately forming a single bone. While genetic factors such as HLA-B27 gene positivity and joint graphs are helpful in diagnosis, they may not always be sufficient. It is more commonly seen in men, 2 to 3 times more frequently than in women. Although the exact cause of AS is not fully understood, individuals with the HLA-B27 gene are more likely to develop the condition. Individuals with first-degree relatives diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis have around a 20% likelihood of contracting the disease. Therefore, not every person who is HLA-B27 positive will necessarily develop the disease.

Inflammation can also occur in other joints of affected individuals, such as the knees, ankles, lumbar region, hips, and spinal structures…

As the bony structures and joints become ossified, curvature of the spine can occur.

Ankylosing Spondylitis is often mistaken for conditions like herniated disc, back pain, osteoporosis, and similar joint disorders. This is why diagnosis is delayed. While osteoporosis is typically seen in older individuals, Ankylosing Spondylitis is more commonly observed in younger individuals.

Causes and Triggers of the Disease: Inflammation caused by dehydration and cellular dehydration Impairment of bile flow Release of histamine from mast cells due to allergy and accumulation of toxic substances Impairment of hip joint mechanics due to brain membrane Postural disorders Compression in neck muscles Nutritional disorders Emotional trauma and excessive stress load Impaired extracellular fluid flow in connective tissue outside the cells Ankylosing Spondylitis and Its Symptoms: Back pain beginning in early adulthood Stiffness sensation after sleep Reduced stiffness sensation after physical activity Joint pains disrupting sleep due to their intensity Limited range of motion Forward bending of the spine

It is highly important not to answer questions like “Do I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, I have joint pains, do I have Ankylosing Spondylitis?” solely based on internet searches. Consulting a specialist physician is a must. AS typically begins as a disease characterized by spinal and lumbar pain caused by inflammation in adults and young individuals. At the onset of the disease, the pain is mild and often difficult to discern, but it intensifies in the later stages. Pain felt in the hips can also be observed in the back, shoulders, and neck. These pains usually manifest in the morning or during periods of rest, but diminish during movement throughout the day. Stiffness lasting between thirty minutes and forty minutes is experienced after sleep. Resting joints during sleep result in morning stiffness. Additionally, potential pains can frequently disrupt nighttime sleep. Swelling and accompanying pain can also be observed in the chest, feet, hands, hips, and knees. The intensity of pain and other complaints can vary from person to person. Individuals with complaints similar to these lasting more than three months should undergo regular medical checks.

How is the Diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis Made?

Patients presenting with pain in the shoulder, neck, and lumbar structures lasting more than three months need to rest and undergo an investigation of whether other individuals with AS exist in their family, which involves close relatives. Additionally, a physical examination of the patient should be conducted, evaluating any limitation in movement. Rheumatology, physical therapy, and osteopathy specialists can collectively contribute to the diagnosis of the disease.

How is the Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis Conducted?

The patient’s back pain and stiffness are evaluated by an expert doctor. While strong drug treatments are recommended in classical medical practices, the success rate of these drugs is often not ideal, and their side effects are still debated. Therefore, patients in such cases often explore alternative medical options. Restoring the patient’s ability to move is essential. Furthermore, an individualized treatment protocol should be developed to reduce pain and inflammation in the spine and joints. As each patient is unique, the treatment should be personalized. This way, the primary objective is to enhance the patient’s quality of life and slow down or halt the inflammatory process if possible. AS patients are also supported with exercise recommendations and exercise programs. Physical therapy aims to restore the patient’s strength and endurance. Customized exercises for the shoulders, neck, breathing, and hips are applied. These exercises improve the flexibility and range of motion of muscles, promoting ongoing recovery. Patients need to pay attention to the following aspects when performing exercises:

Exercising during flare-ups should be avoided. If pain increases with exercise, the exercise program should be adjusted. The goal of exercise programs is to strengthen muscles and preserve movement. It must be ensured that the exercises applied do not harm joints and muscles. Exercises should not exceed the recommended duration. Avoid vigorous movements and sudden motions. Exercise Program in Ankylosing Spondylitis

Regularly maintaining doctor check-ups and exercise programs is crucial. Since AS is chronic and progressive, and even its origin can be deep-rooted, treatment takes time. There is no miraculous treatment. The most important aspect here is shaping one’s life according to an active lifestyle. It should not be forgotten that early diagnosis and treatment are very important in such inflammatory diseases.