Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment Dubai | Rheumatology Clinic

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Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that affects the joints in the spine, causing chronic pain and stiffness. It is a long-term condition that can lead to eventual fusion of the spinal vertebrae, resulting in a rigid spine.

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis

The symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis usually begin in early adulthood, typically in the late teens or early twenties. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Low back pain and stiffness, especially in the morning or after sitting for a long time.
  • Pain and stiffness in other joints, such as hips, knees, and heels
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased flexibility and mobility
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Inflammation in the eyes (uveitis)

Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis

The exact cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A person with a family history of ankylosing spondylitis is more likely to develop the condition.

Diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis

Diagnosing ankylosing spondylitis can be challenging, as the symptoms can mimic those of other conditions. A doctor may use a combination of tests, including:

  • Physical exam to assess joint pain, flexibility, and posture.
  • X-rays to look for changes in the spine and other joints.
  • MRI or CT scans to get a better look at the spinal cord and surrounding tissues.
  • Blood tests to look for markers of inflammation, such as the HLA-B27 gene.
  • Treatment: Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis aims to relieve pain, improve mobility, and slow the progression of the disease.

Treatment options may include:

  • Physical therapy to improve posture and flexibility
  • Exercise, such as yoga or swimming, to maintain mobility and strength
  • Assistive devices, such as braces or canes, to help with mobility
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to slow the progression of the disease
  • Biologic medications, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, to target specific cytokines that contribute to inflammation.

In severe cases of ankylosing spondylitis, surgery may be necessary to correct spinal deformities or to relieve nerve compression.

It is important for people with ankylosing spondylitis to work with their doctor to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses their individual needs and goals. Self-care, including regular exercise and a healthy diet, can also help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

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