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Ankylosing Spondylitis Specialist

Arthritis Associates -  - Rheumatology

Arthritis Associates

Rheumatology & Arthritis located in San Antonio, TX

Ankylosing spondylitis is a relatively unusual form of arthritis that causes back pain and can result in spinal fusion. If you have symptoms of this condition, the expert rheumatology team at Arthritis Associates in San Antonio, Texas, can help. They have considerable experience in diagnosing and treating ankylosing spondylitis to keep you mobile and minimize your pain. For advanced solutions to managing ankylosing spondylitis, call Arthritis Associates to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Q&A

  • What is ankylosing spondylitis?
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is an uncommon inflammatory form of arthritis that causes worsening stiffness and can lead to a complete loss of spinal flexibility.
  • The inflammation found in ankylosing spondylitis typically originates in your sacroiliac joints, where your sacrum at the bottom of your spine joins the ilium bone at the top of your hip. Over time, this inflammation spreads into the spinal joints, and eventually, abnormal bone growth fuses the vertebrae.
  • Although it's most common in the spine, ankylosing spondylitis can also develop in your hips, shoulders, and the costovertebral joints that connect your spine to your ribs. Ankylosing spondylitis most often starts in early adulthood; however, the condition sometimes affects children and older adults.
  • What symptoms does ankylosing spondylitis cause?
  • The most frequent signs of ankylosing spondylitis are lower back and hip pain. As the disease progresses, you experience increasing stiffness and find your range of motion becomes more limited. If your vertebrae start to fuse, you could develop a curvature to your spine.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis symptoms are typically worse when you start to move after a long period of inactivity, for example, when you first get up in the morning. Exercise can help ease the stiffness.
  • The inflammation present when you have ankylosing spondylitis can increase the likelihood that you'll suffer additional problems such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), psoriasis, and in a few cases, lungs and heart, kidneys, and nervous system complications.
  • Around 40% of patients with ankylosing spondylitis also get uveitis (eye inflammation), which causes light sensitivity and eye pain.
  • What treatments are available for ankylosing spondylitis?
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is incurable, but the team at Arthritis Associates creates a personalized treatment plan that helps you manage your symptoms and enjoy a better quality of life.
  • Physical therapy forms the basis of your ankylosing spondylitis treatment. It helps you stay mobile longer and preserves normal posture, while exercise programs keep you stronger and reduce soft tissue atrophy. 
  • There are also various medications your provider at Arthritis Associates can prescribe to reduce pain, lower inflammation, and improve mobility.
  • DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) like methotrexate are one type of medication that can help with ankylosing spondylitis. Another is anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor) agents, biologic drugs that can slow the disease's progression. 
  • Arthritis Associates has an on-site IV infusion suite where you can receive intravenous treatments like these.
  • For expert diagnosis and treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, call Arthritis Associates or book an appointment online today.