Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder primarily involving the pelvis and spine. People with AS can have joint, eye, skin and intestinal problems. As the condition progresses the patient loses more and more mobility of the spine and may not be able to look straight ahead or lay flat on their back due to the structural damage in the spine.
The progression of these clinical manifestations affects individuals for most of their working lives, limiting their physical functioning at work and activities of daily living that, not surprisingly, affect their perceived quality of life.
It is estimated that AS affects about 0.5% of the population with a greater preponderance in males than female.
Medical care depends entirely on pharmacological treatments and these are not without side effects and therefore a concern with their long term use such as in those with chronic recurrent conditions.
In the United States, it is estimated that over half of the adult population suffers from at least one chronic medical condition.
Most chronic conditions adversely affects quality of life involving increased depression, anxiety, poor sleep, poor physical functioning and increased pain.
Of the practitioner-based alternative care options, chiropractic is popular and highly utilized. The principle aim of care in chiropractic is to adjust vertebral subluxation, which in turn may address the physical decline that arises from pain and physical activity intolerance. Desired outcomes of chiropractic care in adjusting the subluxations may include reduction of pain, increased function and enhanced quality of life.
The man reported on in this study was 38 years old and went to the chiropractor with mid to upper back pain, neck pain, pain in his groin, buttocks, knees and feet. He was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis ten years earlier and had an uncle who suffered from it. He was prescribed medications but said they did not help him. He stated that his range of motion and posture were getting progressively worse. He could not lay flat on his back and could not stand up straight and look ahead without bending his knees.
The chiropractor examined him and found severe loss of mobility, postural abnormalities and structural shifts in his neck, mid and lower back. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.
Following chiropractic care he is now standing straighter, can lay flat on his back, see straight ahead without bending his knees, has increased range of motion, less pain and improved quality of life. The study’s authors called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population of patients.
Improvement in Quality of Life, Posture, Range of Motion and Pain Following Chiropractic Care of a Patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Junjoe Alcantara, DC, Joel Alcantara, DC & Joey Alcantara, DC. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ April 12, 2018 ~ Pages 68-76