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What are the treatment options for ankylosing spondylitis?

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Ankylosing spondylitis may be treated with medications or exercise, reports the Spondylitis Association of America. Other options include surgery and hot or cold therapy, while simply practicing proper posture can also aid symptoms.

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Proper treatment plans for ankylosing spondylitis should be designed by a rheumatologist and often include a combination of drugs, physical therapy and/or heat therapy, reports the Spondylitis Association of America. Exercise and physical therapy to treat spondylitis focuses on increasing flexibility in the spine, while also strengthening the core. This, in combination with posture awareness, can greatly improve symptoms and prevent further stiffening of the spine and avoid deformations. Hot treatments, including baths and showers, can relieve joint pain and soreness, while cold treatments can reduce swelling and inflammation.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed to treat ankylosing spondylitis, adds the Spondylitis Association of America. While these drugs effectively treat the pain and stiffness associated with ankylosing spondylitis, they can wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal tract when used excessively. Other options include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, such as TNF Blockers. TNF Blockers are especially effective, as they specifically target spinal arthritis. Surgical correction of ankylosing spondylitis is possible in the cervical spine, but this is a risky procedure.

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