Chronic Inflammation of the Spine
Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), previously known as Bechterew's syndrome of Marie-Strumpell disease is a specific form of arthritis characterised by chronic inflammation of the spine. Read on to discover the causes and symptoms of this chronic disease and potential Ankylosing Spondylitis treatments? Plus, find a range of back supports and braces and products to assist in alleviating pain caused by AS.
Anatomy of the Spine
The vertebral column is made up of thirty-three individual vertebra — they are grouped into seven cervical (neck), twelve thoracic (upper back), five lumbar (low back), and five sacral (fused to form part of the pelvis) and four coccygeal bones (also fused, form the tailbone). The column is flexible to aid mobility. It provides bony protection to the delicate spinal cord. Ankylosing Spondylitis causes inflammation of the spinal joints and in many cases, the spinal column begins to fuse and reduces the mobility of the spine.
Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. There is chronic inflammation of the spinal joints that over time (but not in all cases) results in new bone formation around the affected joints, causing the spine to fuse. This can create a forward-stooped posture. The condition is prevalent predominantly in young males.
- The exact cause of Ankylosing Spondylitis is unknown, however it is strongly linked to genetics. Studies have shown that 95% of people with AS have the gene called HLA-B27. As this gene is also present in people that don’t have AS, it is thought that other factors contribute to the condition such as other genes and environmental triggers.
Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms
- Gradual onset chronic pain and discomfort in the lower back initially. Pain tends to progress up the spine and towards the groin
- Pain may be referred to the buttock or posterior thigh
- Impaired mobility and stiffness of the spine
- Associated recurrent eye inflammation may occur (Uveitis)
- In the early stages of AS, there may be mild fever, loss of appetite and general malaise
- Varying levels of fatigue may also result from the inflammation
Treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis
If you believe you may be suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis, please consult with your medical professional for a complete diagnosis of your back pain and tailored Ankylosing Spondylitis treatment plan.
Recommended Back Supports and Braces:
Under the direction of your medical professional and in conjunction with your advised treatment plan, the following Thermoskin products are recommended for treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis:
- Thermoskin Lumbar Support - provides protection, heat, compression and support to muscle injuries and general lower back dysfunctions. This product has 2 flexible internal stays for additional support and adjustable side straps for extra compression
- Thermoskin Back - provides protection, heat and mild support to muscle injuries and general lower back dysfunctions
- Thermoskin Elastic Back Stabiliser - provides compression and support for general lower back dysfunctions. There are 4 internal stays for additional support, adjustable elastic side straps for extra compression and contains a lightweight breathable mesh knit for ventilation
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