Ankylosing Spondylitis - What the Heck is it?

By: barneygarcia
The more you understand about any subject, the more interesting it becomes. As you read this article you'll find that the subject of Ankylosing Spondylitis is certainly no exception.

Ankylosing Spondylitis, or AS, as it is commonly referred to, is a type of arthritis. It is a disease mostly seen in young men between the ages of 16 to 35. Females can be afflicted but their symptoms are typically mild. It can also appear in children, mostly male, but it is hardly ever seen in African Americans. It causes morning stiffness and back pain, which lying down or sitting, only worsens. It can cause pain on inhalation, fatigue, and weight loss.

AS is caused by inflammation to the tendons and ligaments that make back movement possible. The body's response to this inflammation is to produce more bone, which in turn, causes the bones of the spine to weld together. Because the spine is unable to move, it bends forward from the weight of the head.

Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you're fully informed about Ankylosing Spondylitis, keep reading.

In the early stages, AS begins in the lower back. In later stages, the middle and upper back are involved. It can afflict the joints and tendons of the buttocks, thighs, and chest. The shoulders, knees, and ankles can also be involved. Although painful, AS does not disable or shorten the lifespan of it's victims.

Scientists feel the the culprit behind AS is a gene, HLA-B27, which fights infection and is activated for some reason. This does not mean that everyone who has the gene will get the disease, it needs to be switched on first. They are also investigating whether the culprit might be a certain type of infection. If this were the case, antibiotics might prove to be a useful tool for this type of disease.

Early detection and treatment can help prevent deformity and reduce pain. Anti-inflammoratories are often prescribed as well as exercise to improve posture and increase strength. AS patients are often told to sleep on their backs to prevent further curvature of the spine.

The day will come when you can use something you read about here to have a beneficial impact. Then you'll be glad you took the time to learn more about Ankylosing Spondylitis.
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