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Early diagnosis and regular exercise, key to improved quality of life for ankylosing spondylitis sufferers

Posted on 04-11-2015

On the occasion of National Ankylosing Spondylitis Day, Hospiten rheumatologist Jose Luis Rosales explains that this inflammatory rheumatic disease affects young people in particular

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, October 19 2015: The Hospiten Group, on the occasion of National Ankylosing Spondylitis Day, held on Tuesday, October 20, reminds us of the importance of a healthy lifestyle to improve the prognosis of the disease, bearing in mind that it is a common disease (0.5-1% of the world’s population) with higher incidence among men of 20-30 years of age.

Hospiten rheumatologist, Jose Luis Rosales explains that ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory rheumatic disease affecting young or middle aged people in particular and, although the disease cannot be prevented, an early diagnosis and regular exercise can improve the prognosis considerably.

This rheumatic disease evolves producing outbreaks or attacks with inflammation in the spinal column or other joints, such as the shoulders, hips, knees or ankles. Furthermore, the effect of accumulative outbreaks of inflammation in the spine, in the long term produces structural damage and as a result can cause loss of mobility.

For that reason, “one of the most important factors in treating spondylitis is physical exercise to strengthen the back, to prevent stiffness and loss of mobility in the spinal column, as doing sport allows the back to stretch and maintains mobility in the shoulders and hips”, adds the specialist.

At present, there is no treatment to cure the disease. Nevertheless, there are a series of effective drugs and rehabilitation techniques that can help relieve pain and maintain flexibility, helping the patient to maintain a good quality of life. “Nowadays there are also the so-called biological treatments, which are drugs that target components of the immunological response of the disease and which are indicated in a specific group of patients”, explains Dr. Rosales.

The doctor also warns that some people may have the disease, but be unaware of the fact, as the symptoms of inflammatory spondylitis can be confused with those of a mechanical backache, so he insists that it is preferable to consult a specialist to ensure a prompt diagnosis.