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Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

The goal is to relieve the joint pain and to prevent, delay, or correct deformities.

Drugs used in Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like naproxen (Naprosyn) or indomethacin (Indocin) are used to relieve pain and stiffness. In severe cases, sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), another drug to reduce inflammation, or methotrexate (Rheumatrex), an immune-suppressing drug, is recommended. In cases where chronic therapy is needed, potential drug side effects must be taken into consideration. Corticosteroid drugs are effective in relieving symptoms, but are usually reserved for severe cases that do not improve when NSAIDs are used. To avoid potential side effects, treatment with corticosteroids is usually limited to a short amount of time with a gradual weaning from the drug.

Corticosteroid therapy or medications to suppress the immune system may be prescribed to control various symptoms. Some health care professionals use cytotoxic drugs (drugs that block cell growth) in people who do not respond well to corticosteroids or who are dependent on high doses of corticosteroids.

Drugs called TNF-inhibitors have been shown to improve the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis

 

Exercise as a Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

Physical therapists prescribe exercises to prevent a stooped posture and breathing problems when the spine starts to fuse and ribs are affected. Back braces may be used to prevent continued deformity of the spine and ribs. Only in severe cases of deformity is surgery performed to straighten and realign the spine, or to replace knee, shoulder, or hip joints.

Exercises can help improve posture and breathing. Lying flat on the back at night can help maintain normal posture. Use devices to help with activities of daily living.

Physical therapy is usually recommended to patients. Learning exercises that strengthen all the supporting muscles in the lower back can make a big difference.

Surgery as a Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

Surgery may be performed if pain or joint damage is severe.

Surgery plays a very small part in the management of this condition. About 6% of people with AS need to have a hip replaced. This will successfully restore mobility and eliminate pain of the damaged joint. In rare cases surgery is used to restore a straighter posture of the spine and neck to people who have become severely stooped.

Other considerations

Practicing good posture techniques will also help avoid some of the complications of AS including stiffness and flexion deformities (downward curvature) of the spine

Apply heat and cold to the lower back to control inflaming can help control pain and flexibility.

 

Modified 5-15-2013   Information compiled from the National Institutes of Health

 

 

 

   

   

This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.

Arthritis can develop as a result of an infection. For example, bacteria that cause gonorrhea or Lyme disease can cause arthritis. Infectious arthritis can cause serious damage, but usually clears up completely with antibiotics. Scleroderma is a systemic disease that involves the skin, but may include problems with blood vessels, joints, and internal organs. Fibromyalgia syndrome is soft-tissue rheumatism that doesn't lead to joint deformity, but affects an estimated 5 million Americans, mostly women. The approximate number of cases in the United States of some common forms of arthritis.

Arthritis-Symptom.com is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.

Where we get our information.

Most of the information in the site is compiled by editors from information provided by the National Institutes of Health. We are in the process of updating our pages. In the past we have not made reference to the source for information provide by our editors. In the next few weeks we hope to have all our pages marked as to the source.

We have included information from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Pages that uses information from this source are so acknowledged.

We have contributing authors that send information. Where information is provided by an outside author it is acknowledged by a byline under the title.

Updates of Pages.

Not all of our pages have a date as to the last update. We are in the processes of reviewing all our pages and as we do we include a reference as to when the page was updated. This web site was first published in January of 2003. All pages in the site were created at sometime during or after that time.