Johns Hopkins Health Alerts:

* Is Your Arthritis Pain Caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that
primarily affects the joints and ligaments in the spine and the
sacroiliac area (where the spine connects to the pelvis).

Genetic susceptibility plays an important role in ankylosing
spondylitis. Most people who have ankylosing spondylitis carry the
genetic marker HLA-B27. However, HLA-B27 is a common marker in the
general population, and only about 2 percent of people who have HLA-B27
will develop ankylosing spondylitis.
Researchers believe that HLA-B27 provides a genetic susceptibility to
ankylosing spondylitis and that an infection or environmental factor
triggers the disease. In some individuals, ankylosing spondylitis
develops after a gastrointestinal or urinary tract infection.

The severity of ankylosing spondylitis varies greatly from one person to
The most prominent initial symptoms are low back pain and stiffness in
the spine and hips.

Some people with ankylosing spondylitis experience only intermittent
back pain. For others, the pain and stiffness progress to other joints,
such as those in the knees, feet and shoulders.
Ankylosing spondylitis may advance to other organs, causing
complications such as inflammatory bowel disease, eye inflammation, and
inflammation in the heart and lungs.

The most worrisome spinal complication of ankylosing spondylitis is
spinal fusion.
This results when chronic inflammation damages the vertebrae, joints and
ligaments in the back. As the body attempts to repair the damage, new
bone grows and may fuse the vertebrae.
Spinal fusion renders the spine immobile(sometimes "frozen" in a stooped
position) and can also stiffen the rib cage, restricting lung capacity
and interfering with breathing.

Exercise and physical therapy play an important role in ankylosing
spondylitis treatment. Swimming is an excellent exercise for people who
have ankylosing spondylitis because it is non-weight bearing, provides a
good aerobic workout and helps improve lung function. Walking, weight
training, yoga and Pilates are other good activities.

Donna G.

1) Rejoice always, Pray continually, Give thanks in all circumstances,
For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. ( I Thessalonians
5:16-18 NIV )

2) ANGELS EXIST, but some times, since they don't all have wings, we
call them FRIENDS......

3) Just because you're in pain, doesn't mean you have to be one!