Ankylosing Spondylitis is a condition that primarily affects the axial joints with arthritis, can can affect the more peripheral joints including the feet and also cause heel pain.

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Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory joint condition which generally affects the vertebrae, but can affect any joints in the body and also some other organ systems. The name ‘ankylosing’ means a fusing of the joints and ‘spondylitis’ means the spine. The condition impacts on about 0.1-0.2% of the population and usually affect males more frequently. It generally just begins as an pain in the small of the back that is really just the same in signs and symptoms to any other frequent low back condition so is typically managed as such. Generally, this treatment will probably fail and other approaches get used. Eventually, when additional symptoms develop in other joints there might be additional investigation bringing about the proper diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis. This process can take many years before the diagnosis gets made. The typical approach to treatment for this is to use medications to handle the inflammatory process in the joint and also physical therapy to keep the spine mobile and flexible.

Ankylosing spondylitis affects the feet often. One way is that the joint disease process may affect the joints in the foot and cause pain there. Heel spurs or plantar fasciitis is very common in those with this condition. This kind of heel pain isn’t the regular one that you get since it is part of the disease process, consequently tends to not respond adequately to the conventional methods of dealing with heel pain. Like the joint inflammation which impacts the joints in the foot, the therapy is generally directed at the drugs that decrease the inflammatory response. The other way that ankylosing spondylitis has an effect on the foot is indirect. Since the significant signs and symptoms of the disease are in the spine, the lower as well as upper back become very constrained in motion, so those with ankylosing spondylitis tend to have difficulties bending down to get to their feet. This means that they can’t even do basic things like cut their own toe nails or self-care for their feet. They’re also going to have problems treating different conditions that affect the feet. They may need to visit a podiatrist on a regular basis for foot care and maintenance of foot health and for the regular treatments for any foot problems that could develop.

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