Treatment for Ankylosing SpondylitisAlthough ankylosing spondylitis can have serious effects on a person's life and well-being, current treatment strategies for the condition -- including pain-relief drugs and medications that slow joint damage, a balance between rest and exercise, and patient education and support programs -- allow most people with the disease to lead active and productive lives.
Some ankylosing spondylitis treatment options include:
- Lifestyle changes
- Medications (see Ankylosing Spondylitis Medications)
- Routine monitoring and ongoing care.
In recent years, research has led to a new understanding of the condition and has increased the likelihood that, in time, researchers will find even better ways to treat the disease.
(Click Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment for more information related to treatment options.)
Unfortunately, it is not often possible to predict how ankylosing spondylitis will progress in an individual situation. It is a chronic disease that can come and go (an acute, painful episode associated with this condition is known as a "flare"). Early in the disease, constant pain and stiffness are more common; however, as the disease progresses, periods without pain and stiffness become more common.
People diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in adolescence tend to have a worse prognosis along with more severe hip involvement. The disease in women tends to progress less often to spinal fusion.
Yet, despite this being a chronic disease, most people with the condition remain gainfully employed. Further, it is uncommon for ankylosing spondylitis to shorten a person's lifespan.