Cause, Symptoms and Diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylosis
Are you one of the people who have been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylosis? If you are, or if you know someone who has it, then you must be informed as to what Ankylosing Spondylosis is, what are its causes and symptoms, and how can you be diagnosed with the disease.
Ankylosing Spondylosis is a form of arthritis that affects the spine, and the joints of the arms and legs. It primarily affects the sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joint, which is located on the lower back, is where the sacrum and the bones on either side of the buttocks meet. Spondylosis causes pain and stiffness to this area of the body, and to the spine itself. Spondylitis can lead to the fusion of the vertebrae, resulting to immobility of the spine. Aside from being a chronic disease, Ankylosing Sponylitis is considered to be a systemic disease. It is probable that this disease of the spine may affect other tissues of the body, causing inflammation to other joints, and even to other organs of the body.
How prevalent is Ankylosing Spondylosis? In the United States alone, it affects 129 out of 100,000 people. Men and women are both affected but the disease is more prevalent on males as they occur twice as much in men than in women. Age of onset is usually before 40s.
What causes Ankylosing Spondylosis? There is no known specific cause for this disease. However, research shows that there is a genetic component related to its development. A gene called HLA-B27 have been associated with the disease as 90% of people who suffer from Spondylosis have this gene, and 10 to 15% of those who inherit this gene is likely to develop the disease. So, what are its symptoms?
- Having constant pain in your lower back and hips.
- Suffering from stiffness in the area of your lower back or hips.
- Pain is felt especially after a period of being inactive (when getting out of bed as a classic example).
- The pain stops when you move, or when you have a warm shower.
- For more advanced stages of the spondylosis:
- Observing continual stooping.
- Suffering from rigid spine.
- Getting easily fatigued.
- Significant unintended weight loss.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Pain in the eyes especially when looking at bright lights.
Whether the symptoms look mild, if you observe yourself to have the symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor. Why? It is because early diagnosis and treatment will prevent complications and further damage to your body. Treatments will also reduce the pain caused by the disease. When you go to the doctor, you can expect to undergo X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. Blood testing is also done as part of the diagnostic tests.
Remember, Ankylosis Spondylosis is a disease that needs to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Knowing the symptoms and using the information above will be of great help.