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Impacts of Ankylosing Spondylitis on the Foot

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Admin, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term inflammatory joint disorder which primarily affects the spine, but can impact all joints in the body and some other organ systems. The label ‘ankylosing’ is the term for a fusing of the joints and ‘spondylitis’ means the spine. The disorder impacts on about 0.1-0.2% of the population and does affect males more frequently. It typically simply begins as an ache in the small of the back that's really no different in symptoms to any other typical back problem so is typically managed as such. Commonly, this treatment will fail and other approaches get used. Inevitably, when alternative symptoms occur in other joints there may be more investigation leading to the proper diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis. This process can take a long time before the diagnosis gets made. The normal approach to treatment for this is to use drugs to cope with the inflammatory process within the joint in addition to physical therapy to keep the spine mobile and flexible.

    Ankylosing spondylitis has an effect on the feet often. One way is that the joint disease process may affect the joints in the foot and result in symptoms there. Heel spurs or plantar fasciitis is quite frequent in those with Ankylosing spondylitis. This sort of heel pain isn't the typical one that you get because it is part of the disease process, so tends not to respond effectively to the conventional methods of dealing with heel pain. Like the joint disease that affects the joints in the feet, the treatment is mainly directed at the medications that decrease the inflammatory reaction. The other way that ankylosing spondylitis impacts the foot is indirect. Since the principal signs and symptoms of the disease are in the spine, the lower as well as upper back become very restricted in motion, so people that have ankylosing spondylitis tend to have trouble bending down to get to their feet. Which means that they are unable to even perform simple things like cut their own toe nails or self-care for their feet. They are also going to have problems managing different conditions that affect the foot. They will often need to see a foot doctor on a regular basis for foot care and maintenance of foot health and for the ongoing management of any foot issues that could develop.
  2. Danfran

    Danfran New Member

    My daughter in law was diagnosed with this. She first presented with iritis 7 years previously. Then just over a year ago she had severe foot and knee stiffness, swelling and extreme pain in addition to iritis at the same time. Relatives also suffer from this, do she had more information to bring to the rheuatoligist for diagnosis. It was treated with steiroids until she was approved for Humira. We hope she can keep this under control for as long as possible with fewer flare ups. She is young!

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