Tuesday 25 February 2020 ,
Tuesday 25 February 2020 ,
Latest News
  • Mushfiq gets his third 'Double Century'
  • Salman Shah committed suicide: PBI
  • Malaysian PM Mahathir submits resignation
  • Trump receives warm welcome in India
  • Coronavirus: Family of infected Bangladeshi in Singapore to receive $10,000
  • GP ordered to pay another Tk 1,000cr within 3 months
  • Dhaka vehicles now move at walking pace
  • Britain starts hearing US case for extraditing Assange
  • 400 bureaucrats set to get promotion despite lack of posts
15 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM

The bamboo spine- Ankylosing spondylitis

DR. S. RAMAKRISHNAN
The bamboo spine- Ankylosing spondylitis

Ankylosing Spondylitis means inflammation of the spine causing pain and stiffness of the back. When ankylosing spondylitis is not treated, it leads to a stiff spine called a ‘bamboo spine’. This leads to significant physical disability interfering with performance of even daily activities, work unemployment, work absenteeism and mental depression.

The basic cause of ankylosing spondylitis is that the body’s defence system attacks its own spine, leading to inflammation and fusion of the spine. Ankylosing spondylitis usually has its onset in the age group between 20 years to 30 years and is more in males than females. The reported prevalence of ankylosing spondylitis is around 0.83% in the Indian population.

The clinical symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are pain in the low back or buttocks which is worse in the night and after getting up in the morning. The low back stiffness lasts for nearly 30 minutes. The back becomes less flexible and people with ankylosing spondylitis find it difficult to even bend forward and wear their socks and shoes.The pain and stiffness become better with activity.

Clinical examination reveals restricted spinal movements and decreased chest expansion. Investigations that are helpful to confirm the diagnosis are: blood tests, radiographs and MRI scans of the lumbar spine and pelvis.

Treatment of ankylosing spondylitis requires a holistic approach which comprises medications, physiotherapy and exercise, lifestyle modification, patient education and surgical intervention. The goal of treatment is to confer maximal mobility of the spine and joints affected with minimal pain. Medications comprise nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS; pain relievers) and biologics. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs confer adequate pain relief, but long-term usage is associated with gastrointestinal side effects and renal toxicity. At present, the best medicines for treating ankylosing spondylitis are “Biologics”.  

Biologics are genetically engineered proteins which are designed to block certain aspects of the immune system in our body which are responsible for the inflammation and fusion of the spine in ankylosing spondylitis. Biologics not only reduce pain and improve physical mobility but they retard the radiological progression of the disease. The rheumatologist will discuss the advantages and side effects of these biologics during the consultation with the patient.

Physiotherapy forms the sheet anchor in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis.  Regular stretching, muscle strengthening and breathing exercises will improve the pain and flexibility of the joints. Swimming and hydrotherapy are rewarding. Correct posture maintenance while standing at work and sleeping is important. One should avoid using pillows and sleep either on the chest or on the back. The mattress should be firm and provide enough support to prevent any tendency for the spine to be bent. There is no specific diet and a well-balanced diet should be taken to achieve the ideal body weight. Smoking and alcohol should be avoided. A patient also needs physical and emotional support from the family and friends.

The outcome in ankylosing spondylitis is very encouraging if diagnosed and treated early with good cooperation from the patient with respect to exercises and lifestyle modification. Patients with ankylosing spondylitis require referral to the rheumatologist. After all, “Life is mobility and Mobility is life”.

 

Comments

Most Viewed
Digital Edition
More story
Editor Speaks

Editor Speaks

15-20 cm long partly exocrine (digestive juice) and partly endocrine (insulin) Pancreas means all flesh (Pan=all, Kreas=flesh) which lies behind peritoneum…
What can doctors do for your back pain? Not as much as you can

What can doctors do for your back pain? Not as much as you can

“I’m sorry you’re in pain.” “You have no idea,” she growls. She is a middle-aged, obese woman with chronic back pain…
Everything you need to know about pancreatitis

Everything you need to know about pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is pathologic inflammation of the pancreas. Your pancreas sits behind your stomach, near your small intestine. It releases enzymes that help…
Acute pancreatitis risks and treatment

Acute pancreatitis risks and treatment

Risk stratification of acute pancreatitis In most cases, acute pancreatitis resolves with therapy, but approximately 15% of patients develop severe disease.3…
Alcohol, loneliness & other surprising things that spike your blood pressure

Alcohol, loneliness & other surprising things that spike your blood pressure

STEPHANIE ECKELKAMP They don’t call high blood pressure a “silent killer” for nothing. Turns out, about half of Americans have this…
Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of congenital atrial septal defect (ASD)

Knowing the warning signs and symptoms of congenital atrial septal defect (ASD)

The statistical data reveals that the average incidence rate of congenital heart defects reported in different studies is 1 up to 8 per 1,000 live births.…
Coronavirus and its symptoms

Coronavirus and its symptoms

JAMES GALLAGHER A virus causing severe lung disease that started in China has spread to other countries, including the UK. The coronavirus had infected…
Common causes of waking to urinate at night

Common causes of waking to urinate at night

BRANDON PETERS, MD If you wake during the night to pee, you may be interested in learning about the common causes of this occurrence. What is nocturia?…
Wheeze, asthma risk up with cleaning product use exposure in infancy

Wheeze, asthma risk up with cleaning product use exposure in infancy

Infants in homes with frequent use of household cleaning products have an increased risk for childhood wheeze and asthma, according to a study published…
Healthy 'Mediterranean Diet' is good for your microbiome

Healthy 'Mediterranean Diet' is good for your microbiome

The so-called Mediterranean diet is already considered one of the healthiest for your heart, and now scientists say it may give your gut bacteria a boost,…
U.S. scientists take key step towards Coronavirus vaccine

U.S. scientists take key step towards Coronavirus vaccine

There's been a crucial move forward in efforts to develop vaccines and treatments against the new COVID-19 coronavirus, U.S. researchers say. As of…
FDA approves Twirla (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) contraceptive patch

FDA approves Twirla (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) contraceptive patch

Agile Therapeutics, Inc.,  a forward-thinking women’s healthcare company, recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting