Ankylosing spondylitis, or AS, is a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints (vertebrae) that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. In more advanced cases this inflammation can lead to ankylosis (new bone formation in the spine) causing sections of the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position.
AS can also cause inflammation, pain, and stiffness in other areas of the body such as the shoulders, hips, ribs, heels, and small joints of the hands and feet. Sometimes the eyes can become involved (known as iritis or uveitis), and rarely the lungs and heart can be affected.
The hallmark feature of ankylosing spondylitis is the involvement of the sacroiliac (SI) joints during the progression of the disease. The SI joints are located at the base of the spine, where the spine joins the pelvis.
Symptoms of AS.
It is important to note that the course of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) varies greatly from person to person. So too can the onset of symptoms. Although symptoms usually start to appear in late adolescence or early adulthood (ages 17 to 45), symptoms can occur in children or much later in life.
The most common early symptoms of AS are frequent pain and stiffness in the lower back and buttocks, which comes on gradually over the course of a few weeks or months. At first, discomfort may only be felt on one side, or alternate sides. The pain is usually dull and diffuse, rather than localized. This pain and stiffness is usually worse in the mornings and during the night, but may be improved by a warm shower or light exercise. Also, in the early stages of AS, there may be mild fever, loss of appetite, and general discomfort. It is important to note that back pain from AS is inflammatory in nature and not mechanical.
Always go with your professional practitioner, to be diagnosed.
Prolotherapy seem to have a great response with this specific diagnosis, but you still have to come see your specialist to see if you are a candidate for Prolotherapy.