Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that usually involves the spine and less frequently the peripheral joints and may show systemic involvement. Although it is among the people known as spinal inflammation or inflamed lumbar rheumatism. It can be seen not only in the waist but also in the heel of the foot, ribs or rib cage.
Why does it occur?
The exact cause of the disease is unknown, is more common in young men and has a more serious course.
What are the symptoms?
The most important sign is a stiffness longer than 30 minutes on the waist and hip regions. Foot and heel pain, which is felt intensely with the first steps taken after getting out of bed, begins to decrease during the day. In addition, dactylitis (swelling of the fingers like sausage, pain, redness and limitation of movement) can be seen in the fingers and toes.
How is it diagnosed?
Physical examination, various blood tests, x-rays or, depending on the situation, MRI allows the diagnosis of the disease.
How is it treated?
Medical treatment and in addition to this, physical therapy is applied. In recent years, drugs called biological agents have been administered to patients who do not respond to conventional medical treatment. Biological drugs, which are about 70 percent effective, slow the progression of the disease.
What is the importance of physical therapy?
Physical therapy is very useful in relieving pain, increasing endurance and flexibility and preventing deformations. The exercise program is planned specifically for the patient, according to the period of the disease. Rest is recommended during acute attacks. The exercise program should be continued regularly and in the long term.
What will happen if not treated?
If left untreated, new bone is formed between the vertebrae and since these bones are fused with the vertebrae, forward bending in the upper part of the spine and limitation of movement of the vertebrae occur.