DEFINITION: Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine and sacroiliac joints. It causes pain, stiffness, and eventually leads to fusion of the affected joints, resulting in a limited range of motion.
1. What are the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis?
Answer: The common symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis include back pain and stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity. Fatigue, loss of appetite, and inflammation in other joints may also occur.
2. How is ankylosing spondylitis diagnosed?
Answer: Ankylosing spondylitis is diagnosed based on a combination of clinical symptoms, medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests such as X-rays and MRI scans. Genetic testing may also be conducted.
3. Is ankylosing spondylitis a disability in Canada?
Answer: Yes, ankylosing spondylitis can be considered a disability in Canada if it significantly impairs an individual’s ability to perform their job or daily activities. Work accommodations and disability benefits may be available.
4. What treatments are available for ankylosing spondylitis?
Answer: Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis focuses on reducing pain, stiffness, and inflammation, preventing complications, and maintaining function. It may include medications, physical therapy, exercise, heat therapy, and lifestyle modifications.
5. Can ankylosing spondylitis affect other parts of the body?
Answer: Yes, ankylosing spondylitis can affect other parts of the body, including the eyes, heart, lungs, and digestive system. Inflammation in these areas may lead to complications such as uveitis, heart problems, lung involvement, and inflammatory bowel disease.
6. Can ankylosing spondylitis be cured?
Answer: Currently, there is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis. However, with early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and lifestyle modifications, the symptoms can be managed effectively, allowing individuals to lead a fulfilling life.
7. How does ankylosing spondylitis affect daily life?
Answer: Ankylosing spondylitis can have a significant impact on daily life. It may cause chronic pain, stiffness, and fatigue, making it difficult to perform routine activities. Fatigue and limited mobility can affect work, social life, and overall emotional well-being. Support from healthcare professionals, support groups, and loved ones is crucial in managing the condition’s physical and emotional challenges.