Ankylosing Spondylitis is a rheumatic disease that has a painful course, mainly affecting the spine, but the disease can often be confused with a lumbar disc herniation. For this reason, there may be delays in the diagnosis of the disease for an average of 8 years. In addition, 30% of these patients can also be mistakenly diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation.
Memorial Diyarbakir Hospital Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Department Specialists, who said that it is very important for people with this disease to be diagnosed and treated early, gave information about Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is often confused with lumbar disc herniation.
It is more common in men
If adequate treatment is not given to the patients, their disease continues to progress and they suffer from constant pain. This condition negatively affects the mental state of the patients, as well as their social status. Ankylosing Spondylitis can occur in anyone, usually regardless of gender and age. However, it can be observed about 3 times more often in men than in women, and it is observed that the disease usually begins in the 20s (on average, 24-26).
Be careful if you experience lower back stiffness after resting for a while
In the disease, it seems that, unlike the pain in the lumbar disc herniation, the pain does not decrease with rest, but, on the contrary, increases even more. It is a common for it to start with pain in the hips, sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other side, without a significant pain in the lower back. Particularly in patients younger than 40, if there is lower back pain after waking up in the morning or after long rest, if there is a stiffness in the lower back that lasts for more than 1 hour and this stiffness decreases with exercise; The patient should definitely consult a physical therapy and rehabilitation specialist.
Physical therapy and drug therapy should be performed simultaneously
The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain, maintain body position and joint mobility. For success in treatment, it is necessary to perform exercises, physical therapy and drug therapy together. It is aimed to protect the movements of the spine with constant and regular exercises. In drug treatment, there are classical drugs and newly developed biological drugs that are being used. At the top of the classical drugs are painkillers that suppress the inflammation mechanism. These drugs contribute to the relief of pain and help patients wake up comfortably in the morning.
Listen to your doctor's recommendations
In the Ankylosing Spondylitisdisease, if appropriate treatment options are not applied or if it is delayed, hunching may occur in the patient's spine. This condition causes a lot of problems in everyday life, as well as poor appearance. If the recommendations of the attending physician are followed and the exercises are done regularly, many problems that may occur in the later stages of the disease can be prevented.
The rules that must be followed in the treatment of the disease are as follows;
- To increase lung capacity, all movements should be performed together with breathing exercises.
- The mattress should be hard enough not to disturb, soft enough not to be buried in it, and the thickness of the pillow should enough to fill the cervical gap.
- Different heat applications are effective in reducing pain and stiffness.
- It is recommended not to use a corset, as immobilizing the spine with a corset will further reduce the ability to move.
- You should eat regularly and avoid smoking, which is the trigger of every disease.
- Care should be taken not to stay in the same position for a long time and to keep the body in an upright position.
- The patient should lie flat on their back or face down for 20 minutes a day. Sleeping on the side and legs pulled to the abdomen should be avoided.
Prepared by the Medical Editorial Board. Our health library contents have been prepared for informational purposes only and with the scientific content on the registration date. For all your questions, concerns, diagnosis or treatment about your health, please consult your doctor or health institution.