Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis. According to studies conducted on finding the potential causes of this form of spondylitis, it is derived that there are a few major factors that go on to cause this condition. Let us find out what they are.
Ankylosing spondylitis, as aforementioned, is a form of arthritis. Arthritis is an extremely painful condition to endure as it involves your bones stiffening and thus refusing to facilitate free and complete movement. When arthritis strikes, the individual is unable to move his bones freely as they get virtually locked. One is also bound to pop joints when they get locked or pain with severity. Ankylosing in the actual means stiffening of the bones or the popping of joints or not popping at all yet getting locked. Spondylitis is the inflammation of the bones that constitute the spinal cord.
We may conclude that Ankylosing Spondylitis is a form of arthritis that may become too painful and lead to the individual losing his ability of locomotion; a degeneration of the movement of the spine. It may also affect the hips apart from affecting the spine. Ankylosing spondylitis (AS), may strike adults and may also trod towards affecting children younger than 15 years of age. Children who are at a risk of developing this form of spondylitis are the ones who have a family history of the ailment. Research also proves that the gender most susceptible to AS is men as compared to women.
Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis
You may know that you have AS if you experience:
- Swelling or inflammation in the vertebral bones.
- Inflammation and tenderness that occurs on sites such as the neck, the lower back, and the hip. It may also delineate towards the heels of the feet.
- Pain in the ribcage.
- Pain increases during certain activities and may also increase due to over exerting.
- Stiffness increases with movement.
- Locking or joining of joints which makes movement difficult.
- You may also experience slight redness and inflammation in the eye. This is called uveitis, and blurs the vision making navigating in the presence of bright light difficult.
- Due to the swelling endured by the rib cage, an individual may face trouble breathing.
Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis
The genetic factor behind this ailment is that a majority of sufferers of this condition have an innate gene that is working towards its development since birth. The gene is called HLA – B27, an abbreviated form of Human Leukocyte Antigen B27. This is a gene that elevates the probabilities of the onset of AS. It is a not requirement for the ailment to occur, however, when certain environmental factors and influence come into the picture, we may conclude that the antigen gets activated and takes prominence in the system.
This is another factor in which the individual may develop the ailment. It is found that individuals who have a family history involved are likely to endure the disease. Thus, individuals testing positive for HLA – B27 gene coupled with heredity makes the probabilities of developing this ailment all the more stronger.
Lifestyle has shown to play an important role in developing AS. It has been observed that for all those who are under more pressure and stress than the usual amount, arthritis has a fair chance to occur. Also, if there is a lot of activity and exertion that you indulge in regularly, the said condition may occur.
An individual’s autoimmunity is also under scrutiny to have contributed in developing AS. Diseases such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are also discrepancies created due to autoimmune factors.
It has not yet been proved thoroughly that the presence of bacteria can lead to AS. However, it has been known that certain bacterial infections may lead to this ailment.
Treatment for Ankylosing Spondylitis
There is no cure in particular for the disease. However, if it is suspected and consequently detected, it can be dealt with certain aids that help relieve pain and discomfort caused due to stiffness of the bones. You may consult a practitioner who would prescribe NSAID’s; Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs; to reduce pain and stiffness. He may also ask you to perform some exercises to calm the symptoms of AS.
A massage on the affected body part or the back in particular may relieve the pain. A warm compress applied regularly will also help in suppressing the pain. If the pain does not subside, even after you have tried the above given remedies, you may consult your health care provider in assisting you further. This may be a rare proposition, however, he may suggest surgical intervention in order for the troublesome symptoms to be put to rest.
To perorate, ankylosing spondylitis is an ailment that has its roots predominantly buried in the genetic factor HLA – B27, however, other complimentary factors cannot be ignored.