A Treatment Journey
Your care team:
A rheumatologist likely provided the initial diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis. They will help you with
a majority of your treatment and answer questions about the condition. They will also likely refer you
to a physical therapist and occupational therapist
who can help you find the best sleeping positions,
and strengthen back and neck muscles
as well as your core.
Typically, medication will begin with
over-the-counter medical treatments that include
pain relievers. You may then be prescribed
disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These help reduce overall inflammation throughout
the body, but they may not work as well on spinal
joint pain and stiffness. Biologics are another type
of medication that can target parts of the immune
system responsible for your symptoms.
Lastly, steroids may help treat short-term flare-ups.
A big part of your treatment will involve self-care and managing your lifestyle. Certain changes and steps can help to improve your physical, mental,and emotional well-being, including regular exercise, supportive devices, and monitoring your symptoms. You may also benefit from mental health support, whether that means learning stress-management techniques or seeing a mental health counselor.