Ankylosing Spondylitis Specialist

Sahni Rheumatology & Therapy

Rheumatology & Physical Therapy located in West Long Branch, NJ

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 Q&A

What is ankylosing spondylitis?

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.

What causes ankylosing spondylitis?

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.

What are the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?

AS has many symptoms: those typical to arthritis and others that are more specific. These include:

  • Pain that's worse in the morning
  • Pain that's worse after sitting for a long time
  • Fatigue
  • Joint stiffness
  • Swollen joints
  • A rigid, forward-curving spine
  • Difficulty taking deep breaths

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. 

What's the treatment for ankylosing spondylitis?

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:

Medication

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

Physical therapy provides pain relief, eases stiffness, and improves strength and flexibility, making it easier for you to maintain correct posture.

Lifestyle changes

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.