Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatment

While there is no cure, treatment for ankylosing spondylitis can help manage the disease and may slow down its progression. Treatment often involves lifestyle changes and medications, which may provide relief from pain and inflammation. Surgery can be used for severe cases; however, most people with ankylosing spondylitis do not require surgery.

An Introduction to Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis

There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis. However, treatment can be effective in:
 
  • Relieving pain and stiffness
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Slowing down or stopping joint damage
  • Improving a person's sense of well-being and ability to function.
     
Specific treatments your healthcare provider may recommend include:
 
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Routine monitoring and ongoing care.
     
These treatment approaches can be used in different combinations and at different times during the course of the disease, and are chosen according to the person's individual situation.
 

Lifestyle Changes as Part of Treatment

As part of ankylosing spondylitis treatment, certain activities can help improve a person's ability to function independently and maintain a positive outlook. These activities can involve:
 
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Stress reduction
  • A healthful diet
  • Moving to a place with a different climate.
     
Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is an important part of any treatment program for ankylosing spondylitis. Research has shown that physical therapy significantly improves ankylosing spondylitis symptoms. It is best to find a physical therapist who has experience working with people who have arthritis.
 
During physical therapy, the therapist will plan an exercise program based on the person's physical abilities, limitations, and changing needs. The physical therapist will also teach people about:
 
  • Pain-relief methods
  • Proper body mechanics (placement of the body for a given task, such as lifting a heavy box)
  • Joint protection
  • Conserving energy.
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Ankylosing Spondylitis Information

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