Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis

Dr. Kam Shojania, MD FRCPC, Rheumatologist, discusses ankylosing spondylitis treatment.

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Dr. Kam Shojania, MD FRCPC, Rheumatologist, discusses ankylosing spondylitis treatment.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Kam Shojania, MD, FRCPC

Duration: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Ankylosing spondylitus can be treated with medications.

And anti-inflammatories are very helpful in reducing the symptoms of pain and inflammation and improving spinal range of movement in people with ankylosing spondylitis.

There are over-the-counter and some prescription anti-inflammatories that can be used. However, if these are not sufficient, there are other medications that we can use as well.

The anti-TNF biologics are a new type of medication over the last 10 years that really improve the quality of life in people with ankylosing spondylitis. There are a number of them that are available. They are usually given by injection and they help immensely in patients with ankylosing spondylitus.

Other treatments depend on where the symptoms are. For example, eye drops can be used for eye disease, injections can be used for diseases outside the spine. So there are really a nice variety of treatments that can be offered to people with ankylosing spondylitus.

This disease, ankylosing spondylitis, can be mild or severe. If you have mild disease, you may not have significant limitations and range of movement. People with severe disease can often be quite fused. And it's better to fuse in an upright position than in a forward flexed position.

In the worst possible situation someone is fused and fused flexed forward, then there are actually some surgical solutions to maintaining the erect posture. So it's best to help with lifestyle in terms of exercise, strength, and keeping the bones strong. I should add that with ankylosing spondylitis who fuse develop thin bones of the spine and are more likely to fracture.

So keeping the bones strong, looking at treating osteoporosis if it co-exists, is very important. So ankylosing spondylitis is an inflammatory disease of the spine that hits young people, particularly.

There are great treatments for ankylosing spondylitis, including lifestyle management to maintain mobility and function of the spine, as well as great treatments, including anti-inflammatories and certain biologics.

If you have think you have ankylosing spondylitis or have questions about ankylosing spondylitis, please contact your healthcare provider.

Presenter: Dr. Kam Shojania, Rheumatologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Rheumatologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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