Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a rare arthritic condition that affects only around 300,000 Americans. It can cause the bones in the spine to fuse and is debilitating if untreated. Kiren Sahni, DO, FACR, an experienced rheumatologist at Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy in West Long Branch and Colonia, New Jersey, helps you manage the symptoms to minimize the disruption to your life. Make an appointment today over the phone or through the online request tool.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of arthritis that causes the bones in your spine (vertebrae) to fuse, making your spine less flexible. If you have a severe case of this inflammatory disease, you may adopt a hunched-forward posture due to spine rigidity. If it affects your ribs, AS can also affect your breathing.
AS is a lifelong condition. There's no cure for it; however, the team at Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy can help you manage its symptoms and even slow down its progression rate.
Medical professionals aren't certain what causes AS, but research indicates that people who carry the HLA-B27 gene are more likely to have the disease — although only a few people with this gene develop AS.
Other reasons you're more likely to have AS include your age and sex. AS typically begins during early adulthood, with 90% of cases starting before age 30 and found more often in men than in women.
AS has many symptoms: those typical to arthritis and others that are more specific. These include:
While AS mostly affects your spine, you can also have it in your hips, shoulders, the cartilage between your ribs and breastbone, and your hands and feet.
Depending on your condition's severity, the team at Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy offers several ways to address and manage any symptoms you might be experiencing. These include:
Your provider may recommend prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like indomethacin (Indocin) or naproxen (Naprosyn) to ease pain, inflammation, and stiffness. These drugs can have severe side effects, though, so he doesn't recommend them for long-term use.
Physical therapy provides pain relief, eases stiffness, and improves strength and flexibility, making it easier for you to maintain correct posture.
You can also do several things at home to get the most from your provider's treatments, including exercising, avoiding smoking, practicing good posture, and applying hot and cold pads.
When you partner with Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy to carefully manage ankylosing spondylitis, you can continue to live a full and active life. Call the team today or request an appointment online.