Ankylosing spondylitis massage
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Ankylosing Spondylitis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that causes of the spine.
The inflammation can lead to damage including fusion of one vertebrae to another leading to loss of mobility of the spine. The aim of treatment is to reduce spinal and joint pain and to prevent, delay or correct any damage or deformity.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin and others) or naproxen (Aleve) may help to control pain to enable performance of activities of daily living and therapeutic exercise.
In addition, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) are added to help slow disease progression. Examples of DMARDS are medications such as sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) or methotrexate (Folex, Methotrexate LPF, Rheumatrex.
As with all medications that have immunomodulatory effects, there are potential side effects that must be monitored.
The trend nowadays is to add a biologic medicine to the program as soon as possible in order to facilitate remission.
Examples of biologics include TNF inhibitors such as etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira) golimumab (Simponi), certolizumab (Cimzia) and infliximab (Remicade).
Treatment also includes physical therapy and exercise. An exercise routine will consist of range-of-motion and stretching exercises to help the spine remain flexible. Abdominal and back exercises are helpful as well.
Swimming is a good form of exercise because it may be easier to move stiff, painful areas with the aid of the buoyancy of water. Impact loading exercise such as running should be avoided while the disease remains active.
Hot baths, heat and massage can help to relieve pain and stiffness and are considered important parts of a comprehensive treatment program.
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