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Ankylosing Spondylitis Animation

Do you have ankylosing spondylitis, a form of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine? This video reviews the basics of the spine condition, and it discusses some of the treatments used.

SpineUniverse has an Ankylosing Spondylitis Center that is full of in-depth, medical professional-reviewed information.  After watching this short animation, you should visit the Ankylosing Spondylitis Center, or you can jump straight to the articles that are most appealing to you:

What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis?
Ankylosing spondylitis, sometimes abbreviated to AS, affects the joints and ligaments of the spine.  It generally begins in the sacroiliac joints, which are the joints where the sacrum (part of your spinal column) and the iliac bones (part of your pelvis) come together.

In ankylosing spondylitis, the sacroiliac joints become inflammed, and often, one of the early symptoms of AS is lower back pain.  Another early sign is tenderness around the sacroiliac joints.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Causes
The precise cause of AS isn't known, but the medical community does have some ideas.  There does seem to be a genetic connection because AS tends to run in families.  If one of your family members has or had ankylosing spondylitis, you are more likely to develop it.

There has also been some research done around the HLA-B27 genetic marker.  HLA-B27 is an antigen (which is a protein needed by the body in order to help it make antibodies that will fight infection), and back in 1973, a connection was found between AS and the genetic marker.  While not everyone who has the HLA-B27 antigen will develop AS, about 90% of AS patients do have the marker.  This gives the medical community clues to the condition.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Treatments
First of all, surgery is rarely required for AS.  The goal of treatment is to reduce your pain and prevent spinal deformity.

Your doctor may suggest medication, physical therapy, and exercise to address your ankylosing spondylitis.  Exercise is one of the best ways to help maintain your range of motion, which is important in AS.
 

Updated on: 11/08/12
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