Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that mainly develops in the spine, usually beginning in young adulthood. After a definitive diagnosis, patients need care by a medical specialist known as a rheumatologist. They also may benefit from complementary treatments from practitioners like massage therapists and Chiropractors in Auburn WA. Along with the primary care doctor, all of these practitioners can be part of the person’s healthcare team.
A Common Disorder
Many people have never even heard of ankylosing spondylitis and thus assume it is a rare disorder. Actually, nearly 3 million residents of the United States alone have the condition. Researchers believe many more are affected by this disease but have not been diagnosed. They experience have lower back pain but they have not seen a doctor about the problem. As with many forms of arthritis, some men and women have worse symptoms than others do.
This is a type of inflammatory arthritis. The main symptom is an ache in the lower back. Ankylosing spondylitis also makes people feel stiff in addition to experiencing back pain. That stiffness and pain tend to be worse after resting, especially when getting up after several hours of sleeping or just sitting. Cartilage deteriorates and sometimes it completely disappears in specific vertebrae. Calcification starts to limit mobility, making it difficult for these individuals to walk at a normal pace.
Chiropractors in Auburn WA will want to see X-rays before beginning treatment for these patients. Many people with ankylosing spondylitis need a different type of therapy than the somewhat forceful spinal manipulation. If any vertebral bones have fused, that type of manipulation will not work. Other techniques, however, can still be useful. Certain types of stretching with specialized equipment can keep the spinal joints and the soft tissues around them more flexible.
Practitioners with a clinic such as Pearson Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Center focus on all-around wellness, which is another advantage for patients with this disease. They can learn about modifying their diet to reduce inflammation and which types of gentle movement are easier on the spine while still allowing the individual to be active.