Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes long term inflammation of joints of spine. The vertebrae( joints of spine) fuse together and forms a rigid spine which gives a bamboo spine appearance. Mainly affects the joints of spine and also the joint where the spine joins the pelvis. At times other joints like shoulder and hip are involved.
The cause is not known but it is studies shows it is combination of genetic and environmental factors. Studies showed that in 90% cases of AS human leukocyte antigen-HLA-B27 antigen is present. Its and autoinflammatory condition.
Who are affected:
0.1% to 0.25% affected in India
Males affected commonly. Less common in females.
Affects young adults(less than 40 years)
Pain and stiffness: Chronic pain and stiffness in low back, buttock and hips.
Limited range of motion. Due to bony fusion of vertebrae(bones of spine) there is limited movement in neck and back. Hip movements also affected due to bony fusion and all these affects the person’s daily activities like getting up from sitting position without support, climbing stairs, squatting,forward bending, twisting etc. Fusion of ribs to the spine causes restriction in chest expansion while taking deep breath.
Pain in ligaments and tendons.
In some cases eye inflammation can also happen.
X-ray of back and pelvis
There is no cure of AS but with treatment the symptoms can be relieved and improvement in body function can be done.
Medications: Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) helps to reduce pain and stiffness.
Surgery: In severe cases, joint replacement surgery might be required especially for knees and hips.
Physiotherapy:Early intervention with physiotherapy is important to maintain function and minimize deformities.
PHYSIOTHERAPY FOR Ankylosing Spondylitis:
Physiotherapy approach for patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis consists an exercise program that will help in:
Reducing joints stiffness
Strengthening the muscles around affected joints
Preventing or minimizing disability
Preventing breathing difficulties as deep breathing exercises keeps chest cage flexible
Providing better quality of life
Goals of physiotherapy treatment:
To improve joint range of motion(improve spinal mobility)
To increase strength of muscles of around affected joints
To improve muscle flexibility
To prevent deformities
To improve pulmonary functions
To improve posture and position
1.For pain relief and reduction of inflammation: IFT, Ultrasound therapy, Soft tissue massage
2.For improving range of motion of joints and improving posture:
Physio team of Curis360 clinic works to design an exercise program which includes muscle stretching techniques, soft tissue massage and trigger point release that helps to improve spinal mobility and also improves posture.
3.Restoration of muscle control and strength: Physio team of Curis360 works to design an exercise program which will improve muscle strength like- Core stabilization exercise program.
4.Achievement of Functional goal: This is person specific that will be designed by physiotherapist according to functional requirement.
5.Long term Rehabilitation program: Ankylosing Spondylitis is a condition that requires constant management.
Physio team of Curis360 will design a stretching exercise program which is specific to patient’s stiffness.
It is important to stay active as much as possible.A regular exercise of moderate intensity for 30 mins is required in most days of a week.