Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a condition causing inflammation, pain and stiffness in the spine, predominantly in the lower back, writes Reading Osteopath Jérémie Agius. It is a form of arthritis affecting particularly the spine. It can also touch other joints such as the sacroiliac joints, shoulders, hips, knees, ribs and some small joints in the hands and feet. It has a slow evolution and therefore usually causes chronic (long term) symptoms.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is relatively rare and mainly affecting young people in good health, generally men between 15 and 40 years old. The exact numbers affected are unknown. Most studies estimate that AS affects between 1 person out of 500 to 1 person out of 100. It is 3 times more frequent in men than women.
The exact cause is still unknown. It’s an inflammatory condition causing a chronic inflammation of the joints. It is probably due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Although symptoms can manifest periodically, it tends to gradually progress because the inflammation
persist and carry on deteriorating the joints and the cartilage (vertebral discs) of the spine. With time, a fusion of the vertebrae can occur in some patients. However this condition evolves very slowly, over several years.
It is important to notice that there are some cardiovascular risks. When it is not treated appropriately, the chronic inflammation can increase the cardiovascular complications such as heart attack or peripheral vascular disease.
Although, it is impossible to prevent AS, some life style changes can help prevent the aggravation of the pain and also reduce the stiffness. Here are some of them:
The very recent world AS awareness day was “Walk your AS off!“. This fun theme was designed to make sufferers of AS remember the importance of keeping mobile, whilst also getting friends, family and colleagues to join up with them to raise money for AS research.
At Reflex Spinal Health we care for patients who have AS and they find our gentle spinal work very beneficial for them. Maintaining as much spinal mobility as possible, for as long as possible is crucial to maintaining a good quality of life. We can also offer gentle theraputic massage therapy, as well as our state of the art Class 4 K-Laser therapy as well.
In addition to these few tips, it is also recommended to do some specific core strengthening spinal rehabilitation exercise as well as some stretching, as it is essential to maintain proper posture. Such exercise needs to be adapted very specifically to each person’s symptoms and lifestyle.
Here at Reflex Spinal health, our Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Massage Therapists are fully equipped to help you with the pain, the stiffness and also with your rehab program.
Call Reflex Spinal Health on 0118 946 2100 to learn more about what we do to help.
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.