AS or Ankylosing Spondylitis
Also known as Bechterew’s disease. Chronic progressive rheumatic disease. The structures that are under attack are the spine joints and its ligamentous tendons and sacroiliac joints. The effect of the disease process is a progressive limitation of mobility in the affected joints. Despite its name, it can also affect peripheral joints, i.e. hip, knee, elbow and shoulder joints.
WHO IS EXPOSED AND WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS?
The etiology is not fully known, it is believed that hereditary factors influence the development of the disease. The most common group in which AS can occur are young people between 20 and 30 years old. Up to 2-3 times more often men.
One of the symptoms is pain and stiffness appearing at night and in the morning, which patients can describe as the need to move, after which the symptoms subside. Most often it is a dull pain located in the lumbosacral segment, in the buttocks area and in the thoracic segment of the spine between the shoulder blades. Also characteristic is pain that appears during stillness and disappears after resumption of physical activity.
In the advanced stage it is not difficult to diagnose the disease entity, while in the early stage it is quite problematic. Therefore, in a situation where during an appointment, a young patient complains about a pain in the lower spine region or attack of a single joint of the lower limbs, it is worth paying attention to the possibility of the beginning of AS.
IN THE EARLY STAGE OF THE DISEASE OTHER NON-CHARACTERISTIC SYMPTOMS OF A GENERAL NATURE MAY ALSO APPEAR:
- lack of appetite
- weight loss
- quick fatigue
- feeling weak
THE FOLLOWING CHANGES IN PATIENT’S SILHOUETTE ARE A RESULT OF THIS DISEASE:
- abolition of lumbar lordosis
- deepening of thoracic kyphosis
- flexure contractures in the hip and knee joints
- tilt and forward the head
The effect of changes in human posture is total stiffening of the joints, so that the patient turns his whole body. As a result of ossification of the intervertebral joints, the spine acquires the appearance of a bamboo stick.
The human body is a unity made up of systems that interact with each other. In addition to changes to the joints, extra-joint pathologies also appear, including ones to the cardiovascular, respiratory system, as well as eye.
The role of physiotherapy is extremely important especially in the initial stage of the disease. Individually selected exercises have been proven effective in delaying the effects of the disease.