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CONDITIONS OF THE THORACIC SPINE AND THEIR TREATMENT: OTHER CONDITIONS – ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS & RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Ankylosing spondylitis
is a back condition which appears in one in 10,000 people. This is an autoimmune disease, which means the body develops ‘allergies’ towards its
own tissue and deposits antibodies (protein particles) on the tissue it ‘regards as enemy’. In this case the joint surfaces of the spine, hips and limbs progressively fuse. The disease starts in the neck and spreads downward. The spine joins up like a bamboo losing all its flexibility. It is not until the disease spreads to the thoracic spine that patients and physicians notice the stiffness in the back and its lack of flexibility. This condition causes continuous backache, which is worse in the mornings. The lack of flexibility causes great discomfort, especially when lying down. The thoracic curvature of the spine increases and, in advanced cases of the disease, people become ‘humpbacked’. They can never straighten their back, nor can they move their head sideways – everything is fused. This condition may affect other joints such as the hips.
Rheumatoid arthritis
also an autoimmune disease, frequently attacks smaller joints of the cervical and thoracic spine. In this case there is inflammation of the cartilage of the joints leading to swelling and extreme pain. The spine becomes stiff. The pain and stiffness of the spine causes great discomfort to the patients.
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CONDITIONS OF THE THORACIC SPINE AND THEIR TREATMENT: OTHER CONDITIONS – ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS & RHEUMATOID ARTHRITISAnkylosing spondylitisis a back condition which appears in one in 10,000 people. This is an autoimmune disease, which means the body develops ‘allergies’ towards itsown tissue and deposits antibodies (protein particles) on the tissue it ‘regards as enemy’. In this case the joint surfaces of the spine, hips and limbs progressively fuse. The disease starts in the neck and spreads downward. The spine joins up like a bamboo losing all its flexibility. It is not until the disease spreads to the thoracic spine that patients and physicians notice the stiffness in the back and its lack of flexibility. This condition causes continuous backache, which is worse in the mornings. The lack of flexibility causes great discomfort, especially when lying down. The thoracic curvature of the spine increases and, in advanced cases of the disease, people become ‘humpbacked’. They can never straighten their back, nor can they move their head sideways – everything is fused. This condition may affect other joints such as the hips.Rheumatoid arthritisalso an autoimmune disease, frequently attacks smaller joints of the cervical and thoracic spine. In this case there is inflammation of the cartilage of the joints leading to swelling and extreme pain. The spine becomes stiff. The pain and stiffness of the spine causes great discomfort to the patients.*182\330\8*

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