Ankylosing spondylitis is a systemic autoimmune disease that primarily affects the axial skeleton. Since the disease process may be affected too hip joints and peripheral joints of the limbs. More often affects men, with a ratio of 7:3 respectively of men to women. The first manifestations of the disease begin in the range 16-40 years of age by genetic factor plays a major role in developing the disease. Albeit with important heredity is not the only risk factor, as some environmental factors play a key role in unlocking the disease process.
There are several forms of the disease, which differ in their clinical course and accordingly of significance for the choice of treatment:
The classic form of the disease results in damage to the articular apparatus of the spine, as the disease process evolves upwards – from the lumbar area to the cervical spine.
In peripheral spinal form of the disease clinical picture is dominated by the development of a oligoarthritis affecting the joints of the knee, ankle, and in some cases of shoulder girdle. A rare form is ongoing involvement with hip and shoulder joints.
In about 25% of affected patients is observed and systematic involvement of other organs – lungs with fibrosis (loss of functional tissue) eye involvement – the most common form of inflammatory process, as well as rhythm-conduction disorders by heart muscle.
Physical therapy is an essential element of comprehensive treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. Through its methods achieve control symptoms of pain, as well as maintenance and preservation capacity of motion in affected joints.
The disease leads to secondary damage to the muscle groups located near non-harmed the disease joints. Some muscles are abnormally elongated and other compensation mechanism – pathologically shortened.
In these cases, as part of the therapy is appointed gymnastics. It is expressed in strength training (active gymnastics) for extended muscles, while the truncated muscles apply passive gymnastics – stretching. Furthermore, appointed and relaxing massages running trained for that specialists.
Hydro-kinesitherapy represents the performance of gymnastics in water. Meaning the effect there and the water temperature – usually 32-34 degrees. Swimming is one of the major sports, which is recommended for those suffering from spondylitis.
Early stages of the disease are expressed in the presence of nocturnal pain in affected joints, and morning stiffness. The main treatment is curative gymnastics, which is recommended to be preceded by heat treatments. In the later stages of the disease pain in the joints is enhanced in intensity and analgesics are not always sufficient for its control.
In these cases is appointed iontophoresis with novocaine or local administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflamminatory means the action of ultrasound. These methods facilitate the penetration of the active substance in the affected structures. Of importance is the prevention of contractures and deformations which lead to permanently immobilize in the affected joints, positioned adjacent muscle groups. To stimulate the tone and trophic of atrophied muscles used mid currents by placing electrodes. Balneotreatment also enter into consideration – sulphide baths and in stable condition without an acute inflammation apply applications with mud in the affected joints. Prevention is expressed in genetic testing of children and adolescents whose close relatives suffer the disease. Moreover, risk factors are common colds, as some infectious agents can act as a trigger to unlock the disease.